The Current State of Employment in Social Services and Measures to Improve Training Systems

Employment in the social services industry has been the backbone of Korea’s employment policies; however, it did not advance into creating jobs and services of decent quality. Occupations in the social services industry are mostly dominated by female and middle-aged workers. While their level of education is relatively high, it did not lead to higher wages and stable employment. Characteristics of employment in and skills for the social services industry indicate that investment in skill acquisition is likely low; however, workers show relatively active participation in educational training, given that the industry is heavily license-based. Characteristics such as high turnover rates, low income levels, low-skilled workers, and low productivity of the industry suggest that the government needs to take the initiative in providing more educational training. Government-initiated education training must lead to an improved quality of employment in the industry. In addition, its direction needs to be set by reflecting realistic demands for licenses and understanding the long-term process of promoting better treatment of social services workers.