NDC head considering keeping experienced migrant workers in Taiwan

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Minister of the National Development Council (NDC, 國家發展委員會) Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) recently confirmed the council is discussing internally how the nation can recruit skilled migrant technicians and persuade them to stay in Taiwan.

The statement was issued after recent reports showed Japan and South Korea gearing up in attracting migrant workers into their respective countries as both are feeling the heat of labor shortages as the birth rate continues to decline.

Japan came up with a tentative bill to provide a minimum wage of NT$40,000 to all migrant workers to entice them to work there, while also offering selected foreign workers to stay indefinitely in Japan starting 2022.

Amid the fierce competition between Northeast Asian countries, the Economics Committee (經濟委員會) of the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan called a meeting to discuss whether the “New Economic Immigration Bill” needs to be revised to attract more migrant workers into staying in Taiwan.

The “New Economic Immigration Bill” (新經濟移民法) was drafted in 2018 when it was stated that industrial migrant workers can’t stay in Taiwan for more than 12 years, and migrant workers who work as domestic caregivers can’t exceed 14 years.

However, during the ten-plus years working in Taiwan, many migrant workers have accumulated a certain amount of knowledge pertaining to their field of work, becoming increasingly indispensable.

If they could stay and become new immigrants in Taiwan through the revision of the bill, it could be very helpful to Taiwan, legislators pointed out.

To this, Kung replied that there are special laws and acts in the recruitment of white-collared foreign talents, and acknowledged that keeping more blue-collar migrant workers in Taiwan is the main issue.

He said that this issue will be health with as soon as possible, but added that whether the bill needs to be revised or not remains to be seen.