Taipei, May 8 (CNA) Taiwan’s cabinet is considering a plan to lower the threshold for hiring migrant workers for private construction projects, which is estimated to result in the hiring of an additional 3,400 workers.

According to a Ministry of Labor (MOL) official, the cabinet held two meetings in March to discuss the proposal, which aims to alleviate chronic labor shortages in Taiwan’s construction industry.

Under the current version of the plan, the government would remove the requirement that a private construction project must have a total value of at least NT $ 10 billion in order to qualify for hiring migrant workers, said the MOL official who refused to be named become.

For individual company building applications, the threshold for hiring migrant workers would be lowered from NT $ 1 billion to NT $ 200 million (US $ 7.22 million), comprising two separate projects valued at a minimum of NT $ 100 million could, said the official.

However, the project would have to be one of the specific types that the government defines as beneficial to the public, such as:

as such in connection with public infrastructure, sport, tourism and urban renewal, the official said.

Although this restriction would exclude many types of private construction, the MOL estimates that it would continue to allow skilled companies to hire around 3,400 additional migrant workers, the official said.

Aside from the current proposal, Taiwan has already lowered the requirements for hiring migrant workers for government-funded construction projects twice.

In March 2020, the threshold was lowered from a project value of NT $ 10 billion to NT $ 1 billion, which was lowered again to NT $ 100 million in August.

In March 2021, Taiwan had 713,933 migrant workers, of whom 36.1 percent were from Indonesia, 34.47 percent from Vietnam, 21.07 percent from the Philippines and 8.35 percent from Thailand.

4,599 of them worked in the construction sector.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Matthew Mazzetta)

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