The Rise of Work Integration and Social Enterprise in South Korea

EMES Conferences Selected Papers Series, ECSP-B08-17
Thematic line: Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise

In its first part, this article looks into the recent trends observed on the South Korean labor market stressing out that behind good general data –especially a low unemployment rate-, this market presents serious failures that explain the need for work integration policies.

With a high proportion of non-salaried jobs and a high proportion of non-regular jobs among the salaried jobs, the Korean labor market has a high level of unsecured jobs that can turn more easily into unemployment, raise work integration problems, and then lead to social exclusion if combined with other welfare problems.

In relation with its issue, the second part presents the organization and main characteristics of the recent work integration policies set up in South Korea: The National Basic Livelihood System introduced a few years ago and its statutory work integration dimension represents the first program of that kind built up so far in South Korea that led recently to the enactment on a law on social enterprise.

Then the third part offers a discussion on the Korean approach of social enterprise in comparison with other experiences of social enterprise that have been developed, mainly in Europe, for the last 20 years and have gained a growing interest in Asia for a few years.

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