I have dealt with many issues over the past 18 months since my inauguration as Mayor of Seoul, and it seems that our long discussions and deliberations are starting to bear fruit.
Jobs for women make for one of such issues. Seoul Metropolitan Government is making all-out efforts to provide women with jobs including opportunities for starting a business. It is a step taken toward the goal of Seoul Metropolitan Government, a city where women can live with hope.
We at Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the 2013 Comprehensive Policy for Giving Jobs to Women, setting a target of creating 42,000 jobs for women.
We formulated a policy for providing support for women planning startups. As the first of its kind in the country, the Seoul Women’s Startup Plaza that opened in a space in Dogok Station is part of such efforts.
Other activities we are considering include: provision of support for about 300 social or economic organizations where women can work together through smooth communication and cooperation; provision of opportunities for housewives and migrant women married to Koreans to work for women-friendly businesses, and finding job openings for women such as teaching or childcare jobs.
Said policy is being executed with focus on a total of 12 items in 4 sectors: ▴ provision of support for women planning startups; ▴ vocational training; ▴ exploration of and cooperation with women-friendly businesses, and; ▴ cooperation with and provision of support for women-run businesses.
Now, let’s take a look at what we are doing, one by one.
1. Provision of support for women planning startups –opening of store-type startup incubation space, the first of its kind in the country + establishment of 300 social or economic organizations
As the first of its kind in the country, the Seoul Women’s Startup Plaza that opened today (May 10) is a small store-type startup space. Unlike existing startup incubation centers, which provide only office spaces or production spaces, the plaza enables carrying out a one-stop operation ranging from production to sale. In other words, business education, production, and distribution are done in one place.
A hand-knitting business in the plaza, for example, can teach people how to make hand-knit items or display or sell such items.
At present, the plaza has 15 women-run startups specializing in handicraft and design. The startup entrepreneurs are given an opportunity for one-on-one coaching on product planning, accounting, and tax.
We also plan to help establish 300-plus social or economic entities including social businesses, cooperatives, village businesses, etc., this year.
We will let groups of people who are about to establish women’s cooperatives use spaces in Seoul Metropolitan Government owned public facilities, including women’s vocational skills development institutions, and provide diverse educational opportunities.
Our plan includes the training of facilitators who will work with 22 women’s vocational skills development institutions. These 20 facilitators will help women who are interested in cooperative activities.
2. Vocational training with focus on 3,150 customized vocational training courses + courses for training professionals
Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to work with women’s vocational skills development institutions to train 50,000-plus women in 3,150 courses. The plan includes 19 professional training courses, which require more than 300 hours. They are international medical tourism coordinators, international trade clerks, web designers, apartment management accountants, e-DIY interior designers, printing/publishing experts, youths’ hands-on experience instructors, etc.
Are you in your 30s~50s, with qualification that has not been used for a long time? Then, please apply for participation in our program of training 90 people with qualification in four specific sectors, including mentally retarded children management and care and nursing of disabled children. We will help you land a job upon finishing the retraining course.
3. Exploration of and cooperation with women-friendly businesses: landing jobs for 1,060 women in cooperation with a thousand women-friendly businesses
Seoul Metropolitan Government has signed agreements with women-friendly businesses to land jobs for women. The number of such businesses is expected to reach more than 1,000 by year-end. This year, we expect to land jobs for a total of 1,060 housewives and migrant women married to Koreans. We will also distribute printed matter introducing 200 cases of exemplary women-friendly business environments.
4. Cooperation with and provision of support for women-run businesses
This year, we will make all-out efforts toward finding jobs for women in the public sector. We are targeting 14,738 jobs, a 3,500 year-on-year increase. They include 2,457 childcare nurses, 2,600 part-time teachers, and 273 child welfare workers.
Jobs offered as part of the Seoul-Style New Deal Program include 500 escorts to get women home safely, 150 childcare coordinators, 415 childcare helpers, and 61 helpers for children-only households.
The program of escorts getting women home safely will be launched as part of measures for the protection of women based on neighbors’ sense of community and creation of jobs.
The opening of the Seoul Women’s Startup Plaza will go a long way in the creation of jobs for women. Our efforts to train women professionals will help women grow their dreams.
We will do what we can to make Seoul Metropolitan Government a place where women can work comfortably and live happily.