From Focus Taiwan
Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) The government has begun reviewing its immigration policy related to professional talent and migrant workers to address the shortage of skilled workers and manpower, Minister without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) said Friday.
Most immigrants move to Taiwan through marriage or as dependent relatives because Taiwan maintains a relatively strict immigration policy, Lin said at a press conference at which the government outlined its approach to deal with workforce shortage issues.
"In view of the lack of professional talent and manpower in specific sectors, such as agriculture, fishing, and the long-term health care sector, the idea of having foreign nationals work in Taiwan and reside here permanently is being floated," Lin said.
Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) pledged that the government will present policies aimed at creating an "immigrant-friendly" environment.
Officials stressed at the press event that a shortage of workers remains a problem in Taiwan, and it could imperil its economic growth.
According to Deputy Labor Minister Liao Huei-fang (廖蕙芳), Taiwan had a shortage of 233,000 workers at the end of February, translating to a job vacancy rate of 3.01 percent.
"The job vacancy rate has been on the rise since 2015. The manufacturing sector had the biggest shortfall of 88,000 at the end of February and has been deeply troubled by the problem," she said.
As for professional talent, Kao Shien-quey (高仙桂), the deputy head of the National Development Council, said 73 percent of 1,005 employers polled in Taiwan felt that finding skilled talent in Taiwan was difficult, citing a ManpowerGroup survey.
Cabinet officials did not make any specific proposals on Friday to reform immigration policy, but Lai said the policy is to be reviewed. "We can't talk about attracting talent from abroad without looking at our immigration policy," he said.