Foreign workers and laborers in Taiwan
Taiwan’s ministry of labor says that in 2015, there were a total of 587,940 foreign workers in Taiwan, an increase of 36,000 foreign workers from the 551,000 recorded in 2014. In 2008, Taiwan had 365,000 foreign workers. At the end of 2015, there were 587,000 blue collar foreign workers in Taiwan.
A revision to the foreign laborers’ law to allow more low level white collar workers and blue collar workers to work in Taiwan is now being considered for implementation this year, but the New Power Party is opposed to the revision and is demanding that the ministry of labor withdraw the proposed implementation of the revisions. The reason is that allowing more low paid foreign white collar workers and low paid blue collar workers will take away employment opportunities of the local job seekers.
One of the reasons for the revision by the ministry of labor is to introduce mid level technical personnel and foreign white collar workers to Taiwan as a way to internationalize Taiwan’s businesses and increase their competitiveness in the international market.
The same argument was used by the presidents of Taiwan University, Normal University, and other universities to increase the quota for foreign students to come to Taiwan to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies. Outreach efforts are also being made to recruit Southeast Asian students from ASEAN countries to study in Taiwan. Incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou wants to make Taiwan a center of higher education for the Asia and Pacific region. One university president says that Taiwan universities should have more flexibility in recruiting international students.