(LEAD) Kakao pledges to create 20,000 jobs over next 5 yrs: gov't
(ATTN: CHANGES photo; ADDS comments in paras 6, 9)
SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- Kakao, the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, has promised to create 20,000 new jobs over the next five years as part of the government's youth job and education support project, the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday.
Kakao will directly hire 10,000 people over the next five years, and foster some 6,000 professional IT technicians through its AI Campus. It will also run support programs for partners and startups to recruit 4,000 people.
The plan was declared during a partnership announcement event between Kakao and the Prime Minister's Office for the government's youth job and education support program titled Youth Hope ON held at Kakao's Pangyo office in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
The event was attended by Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum and Kakao Chairman Kim Beom-su.
Under the Youth Hope ON project, the government provides financing to foster young talents, while companies offer jobs and education programs.
"I want to thank Kakao, the most favored company by young people, and Chairman Kim Beom-su for making this big decision," the prime minister said at the event. "It is right for IT firms and platform companies wanted by the next and young generation to open the future."
Kakao, whose businesses include mobile services, games and banking, said its AI Campus, an employee training facility currently under construction, will be opened to other people in 2024, so that it can produce 6,000 young talents specialized in digital technologies over the next three years.
The IT conglomerate added that it aims to support 100 startups by investing 300 billion won (US$250 million) over the next five years. Kakao also vowed to help its AI Campus graduates start their own businesses and hire workers.
"I have a belief for a society where many young people can dream of starting their own businesses and realize their dreams," Kakao chief Kim said. "When fresh ideas of young people bear fruit of founding their businesses, it not only creates jobs but also becomes a catalyst for changing our society to become a better place."
Last year, six conglomerates -- KT, Samsung, LG, SK, POSCO and Hyundai Motor -- joined the Youth Hope ON project and promised to create 179,000 new youth jobs.
The government decided to expand the project to midsize companies and IT platform firms this year. Last month, EcoPro BM, a battery material producer, joined the project and vowed to create 3,000 jobs over the next three years.
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