Korea turns to Uzbekistan in bid to meet demand for additional 3,000 automotive workers per year

Korea turns to Uzbekistan in bid to meet demand for additional 3,000 automotive workers per year
Korean and Uzbek officials discuss labour cooperation. / Uzbek Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations
By Mokhi Sultanova in Tashkent May 7, 2024

South Korean officials have contacted Uzbekistan over the need to provide an additional 3,000 workers per year to its automotive industry.

The labour shortage has been identified by the Korea Automobile Industry Association (KAIA).

The job opportunities come amid reports that the wider world of work both east and west is increasingly opening up to Uzbeks looking for work abroad.    

Details of the Korean automotive employment needs emerged during a meeting between the Uzbek Minister of Poverty Alleviation and Employment Behzod Musaev and the chairman of the Automotive Industry Association of the Republic of Korea Kwak Yong Chol. Leaders of automotive groups from across Uzbekistan participated in the associated dialogue, organised for the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul.

KAIA stated that there are 6,800 enterprises and 48,000 employees in South Korea's automotive industry, which has a pressing need for additional manpower.

Both parties agreed to expedite the inclusion of Uzbek citizens interested in working in the Korean automotive sector. The collaboration aligns with the Uzbek Ministry of Employment's plan to send 100,000 citizens of Uzbekistan to work in South Korea in 2024. 

Offered salaries in various sectors, including construction, services, agriculture and manufacturing, stand at around $2,500 per month.

South Korea has emerged as an attractive destination for Uzbek workers, diversifying options beyond traditional migrant employment destinations like Russia. The employment landscape has seen significant shifts, with countries like Korea, Germany and Israel offering lucrative opportunities across multiple sectors.

Germany recently announced approximately 50,000 job openings with starting salaries ranging from €1,000 to €2,000 per month, while South Korea offered 100,000 positions primarily in agriculture and food production, with salaries averaging $2,000 to $2,500 per month. Israel, seeking 65,000 workers to replace Palestinian labourers, has also become a sought-after destination for Uzbek workers.