Strengthening International Relations
In a significant milestone marking the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, Canada and South Korea have forged a new youth mobility arrangement. This initiative is a testament to the commitment of both nations towards bolstering ties and facilitating international work and travel opportunities for their youth.
The Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement
This arrangement introduces an array of enhancements to the existing memorandum of understanding established in 1995, creating a pathway for the youth of both countries to engage in international work and travel opportunities through the International Experience Canada (IEC) or the South Korean equivalent.
The revised provisions include:
- The eligibility age has been extended from the 18-30 range to 18-35, expanding the reach of the program.
- The introduction of two new streams: International Co-op (Internship) and Young Professionals, supplementing the existing Working Holiday category.
- Most youth now have the opportunity to participate twice in the program, each time for up to 24 months, doubling the duration of their international experience.
The Canadian Government anticipates implementing this arrangement in 2024, thereby opening doors for future work and travel, fostering people-to-people ties, and enhancing labour market access for Canadian and South Korean youth.
The Global Impact
This youth mobility arrangement is not just a diplomatic agreement, but a significant stride in today’s global economy. The program provides young Canadians and South Koreans the chance to experience diverse cultures, travel, and work abroad, thereby broadening their global perspectives. It paves the way for a more diverse talent pool for Canadian employers, addressing labour shortages across various sectors.
International Experience Canada (IEC): A Reciprocal Program
The IEC is a reciprocal program that enables Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries. The program consists of three categories:
- Working Holiday: Participants receive an open work permit, enabling them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (Internship): Participants obtain an employer-specific work permit, allowing students to garner targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professionals: Participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience within their field of study or career path.
As of 2023, Canada has signed youth mobility agreements or arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories, extending opportunities to nearly 90,000 international youth from partner countries and territories.
Enriching Personal and Professional Lives
The IEC Program has witnessed the participation of over 240,000 Canadians since 2008. These young people have returned to Canada with life-altering experiences that hold immense value for their personal and professional development.
Growing Korean-Canadian Community
According to the 2021 Census, there are over 218,000 Canadians of Korean descent, a testament to the strong cultural ties between the two nations.
This momentous Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement serves as a beacon of bilateral relations, offering youth the opportunity to gain a betterunderstanding of each other’s country and fostering relationships that will last for decades.
The Future of Canada-South Korea Relations
The establishment of the new Korea–Canada Youth Mobility Program on the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations signifies the depth of our relationship. This program will enable more youth to travel and work in Canada and Korea, marking a remarkable milestone that reflects our shared values and interests.
Looking ahead, we envision this program serving future generations who will lead Canada–South Korea relations for the next 60 years. The opportunity to directly experience and gain a better understanding of each other’s country will serve to further enhance our bilateral relations in the decades to come.
A Hub for Global Talent and Innovation
This landmark Canada–South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement will have a direct and positive impact on the vibrancy of communities by further enhancing cultural exchanges, promoting diversity, and nurturing a global mindset among our talented youth. It will open doors to exciting international opportunities, continue to enrich the fabric of our community, and further elevate regions like Willowdale as a hub for global talent and innovation.
The new youth mobility arrangement is more than just an agreement; it’s a commitment to fostering an environment that thrives on diversity, global perspectives, and cultural exchange. The program offers a platform for our youth to engage, learn, and grow while contributing to the global workforce. With this program, we are not just shaping the future of Canada and South Korea, but also empowering our youth to shape the world.
The new Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen ties and broaden opportunities for our youth. With an expanded eligibility age, the addition of new streams, and a longer duration for participation, we’re fostering a global mindset and opening doors to a myriad of international work and travel opportunities. This arrangement is a significant milestone in our diplomatic relations and a vital step towards embracing the global economy’s challenges and opportunities together.
In conclusion, this arrangement is about more than youth mobility. It’s about strengthening international relations, broadening horizons, and building a future where our youth are global citizens, contributing to a diverse and inclusive world.