Taiwan launches cash reward program for first-time employees

CNA file photo

TAIPEI (CNA) — A program aimed at rewarding youths in Taiwan entering the job market for the first time was launched nationwide by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) on Monday.

According to the MOL, the program targets 2019 academic year graduates aged below 29, who have been working for the same employer for at least three months.

Considering that many young people tend to start working in their last year of study, the ministry said those who finished school this summer and are currently in a full-time job that is covered by labor insurance since Jan. 15 are also eligible to apply.

In a press release, the MOL said a cash reward of NT$20,000 will be given to each applicant if he or she has been working in the same job for a minimum of three months.

Those that stay on for six months will receive an additional NT$10,000, giving a maximum of NT$30,000 per individual.

Chen Shih-chang (陳世昌), a section chief with the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), said part-time workers are ineligible for cash reward, since the purpose of the program is to encourage first-time jobseekers to enter full-time employment as soon as they can, as part of the government’s efforts to boost the economy.

Meanwhile, graduates who find work in sectors categorized as labor-intensive, where manpower shortages are prevalent — healthcare services, manufacturing and construction — will receive a monthly allowance of NT$5,000 for six months beginning 30 days after their employment, the MOL said.

The reward will be raised to NT$6,000 from the seventh to the 12th month and NT$7,000 from the 13th to the 18th month of full employment, the ministry went on, pointing out that this would represent NT$108,000 if they retain the same job for 18 months.

Based on 2019 statistics, Chen said, a mere 1,025 young graduates opted in work in the manufacturing field last year, while the healthcare services received 610 first-time workers during the period.

According to the MOL, about 280,000 students in Taiwan graduated this summer, roughly 190,000 who are first-time jobseekers, while the remainder are likely to pursue further studies at home or abroad.

The online application deadline for the rewards has been set for Sept. 30.