Aluin, a Filipino immigrant worker, learns espresso coffee making at a center for foreign workers in Yangcheon, southwestern Seoul.
“I attend the barista class every weekend. I’ll make a career in Seoul after completing the program, then set up my own coffee shop in my home country,” he said.
Another immigrant worker, Tiron from Sri Lanka, lost his right leg in an industrial accident.
It was also a local support center that helped him get out of his despair. He is staying at a shelter and benefits from government subsidies for people with disabilities.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday it will step up its efforts to help immigrant workers change their career or those who are jobless find a new job.
The city is running seven support centers in Youngdeungpo, Geumcheon, Sungdong, Eunpyeong, Gangdong, Sungbuk and Yangcheon where the population of immigrant workers is relatively high.
The centers monitor the whole process of a job, from writing a resume to consultation with the employer.
An especially popular service is accompaniment by center officials for workers who don’t speak Korean in order to prevent unfair practices.
Sungbuk and Yangcheon centers open new job programs such as barista, computer maintenance and Korean cooking classes.
All the centers offer basic consultations on legal disputes, health, child education and other issues helpful for their adaptation to Korean society.
The center in Dangsan-dong, Youngdeungpo, offers accommodation and meals for up to one month to those who need temporary shelter.
The foreigners-only shelter is operated 24 hours a day. Since its establishment in May last year, some 100 people have used the facility. The centers also offer free medical checkups once or twice a year in cooperation with neighboring university hospitals.
“The city will provide various services and support for immigrant workers here to realize their ‘Korean dream,’” said Koh Heung-seok, a city official.
By Lee Ji-yoon (email@example.com