I am glad to meet you all. Today, we have brought together business leaders from the six companies that have participated in the Hope for Youth Project. These six business leaders have promised to create some 180,000 jobs for young people and provide support for education, training and startups over the next three years.
The Hope for Youth Project is a mutually beneficial strategy that allows young people and businesses to thrive together. Businesses can secure the talent they need, and young people can have broader opportunities to fulfil their dreams together with these businesses. This meeting has been arranged so that I could personally thank these business leaders for their remarkable decision in the hope that such efforts spread to other companies.
Despite limited territory and scant natural resources, Korea has been able to join the ranks of advanced countries thanks to our well-educated, excellent workforce and abundant human resources. Businesses have also been able to break into global markets while employing talented people to make progress again and again and ultimately stay ahead of others.
The safest place to invest for businesses is in talented individuals. Samsung has continued to uphold its founder’s “people first” cause and produce “Samsung men” who are equipped with the best abilities. Hyundai Motor Company has been doing everything possible to foster global talent by offering training opportunities such as H-Mobility Class. Rapid digital transformation, including in artificial intelligence, has now ramped up demand for software professionals. To advance technology for the sake of carbon neutrality, we need more professionals in our workforce. Socioeconomic changes are accelerating the shifts in the demand for manpower.
Our young people have grown up with digital culture and handle digital devices better than any others in the world. They are passionate about their work with an ardent desire to make the future better, and they have a global mindset and perspective. Therefore, as long as the Government and businesses open the way properly and create opportunities, they will be able to grow into global professionals who stand at the forefront of the changing world economy. I hope that our business leaders provide strong support for our young people, so COVID-19 will not drive them into despair as a lost generation.
The Government has been making efforts to create decent jobs. In addition, we have been striving through formal education to cultivate the talented individuals that companies need. However, it is essentially up to businesses to create quality jobs; the Government can only provide as much support as possible. Hence – given the remarkably fast digital transition and technological advances seen today – businesses are also better suited for education and training when it comes to cultivating the talented individuals they desire. I look forward to the public and private sectors cooperating on multiple fronts to foster the digital-savvy professionals that companies need and revitalize tech-driven startups.
Domestic businesses have already been playing a significant role in fostering professionals. One case in point is the Samsung Software Academy for Youth. Launched in December 2018, a total of 2,785 people have so far completed its programs. Of those, 2,091 – 75 percent of the graduates – have found employment at 597 companies, including Samsung Electronics, Kakao and Naver – an impressive achievement.
SK hynix, LG, POSCO, Hyundai Motor and KT are also operating similar programs and have assumed the role of academies to train talented individuals. I ask you to push the Hope for Youth Project more vigorously, build upon these achievements and strive to ensure that more people will be employed faster.
After signing on to the Hope for Youth Project, SK recently unveiled a plan to create 5,000 more jobs than previously announced over the next three years. Not that long ago, KT opened its artificial intelligence technology training center, KT AIVLE School, and made plans to operate a nine-month coding capabilities development program for 200 people from next year. Seventy-one startups moved into POSCO’s CHANGeUP GROUND, and POSCO plans to start an AI and big data academy from next month as well. LG is nurturing many startups at an open lab within the LG Science Park while spurring the establishment of university departments to foster professionals specialized in such areas as next-generation displays.
With the Hope for Youth Project, I hope more young people can experience advanced corporate education and training and obtain opportunities to find jobs and receive startup-related support. The Government will do all it can to cooperate and provide assistance. Through such projects as K-Digital Training, we will facilitate youth employment and hiring by businesses.
Once more, I’d like to thank these six companies for taking the initiative through the Hope for Youth Project and acting as pump primers to create jobs for young adults. The Government will continue to strive to ensure that SMEs, middle-market companies, platform businesses and many others can participate in the Hope for Youth Project.