The government is seeking to allow the recruitment of migrant workers from a Southeast Asian nation that does not currently provide labor to Taiwan, Minister of Labor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) said on Wednesday.
Hsu made the remark in response to questions on whether the government plans to expand the number of countries from which Taiwan can hire migrant workers.
She confirmed that two discussions were held with representatives of the country last month to explore the possibility of making it easier for its nationals to work in Taiwan, but declined to name the nation.
Taiwan hopes to sign a memorandum of understanding with the country next year and allow recruitment by 2022, she said.
In October, there were 701,240 migrant workers in Taiwan, with 37.79 percent from Indonesia, 32.58 percent from Vietnam, 21.54 percent from the Philippines and 8.09 percent from Thailand, ministry data showed.
As of the end of October, there were 264,984 Indonesian migrant workers in Taiwan, with 253,285 employed as caregivers and domestic workers, the data showed.
Responding to concerns that a two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers due to a rise in imported COVID-19 cases could cause a shortage of migrant labor, Hsu said the government would mobilize all available resources to help caregiver agencies survive the temporary ban.
A Taiwanese caregiver-matching scheme operated by the ministry is also expected to ease the shortage, she said, adding that where necessary, employers of migrant workers could apply for short-term extensions for employees whose contracts are to expire.
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