“It Is Desperately Necessary to Improve Negative Perceptions of SMEs to Expand Youth Employment”


청년친화 강소기업

[The Korea Industry Daily]

It is not easy for SMEs and startups to pay attention to the welfare of employees. NAU Robotics, an industrial robot maker, was selected as a youth-friendly small but strong business in 2022 for its efforts to continuously raise wages and improve in-house welfare.

‘The youth-friendly small but strong business’ is a system of the Ministry of Employment & Labor to select companies every year from 2016, and in order to be selected as such firms, it is necessary to satisfy certain levels in terms of wages, balance between work and life and the employment safety indicators.

NAU Robotics, established in 2016, was selected by the ministry as a small but strong company, and also chosen by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups as an SME with outstanding employee development programs and by Incheon as a vision business. Besides, the company has established industry-university cooperation systems with schools, such as Yuhan University and Youngsan University, to help young people learn theories and practical business about the robot industry and have job opportunities.

Asked a question about political support for SMEs and startups to employ talented persons, Lee stressed, “The government currently is implementing various policies for the youth, but it is desperately necessary to improve fundamental perceptions to encourage young people to work at SMEs.”

The SMEs also should make efforts to give young people favorable impressions, and rather than increasing jobs just with the government budget, the government, business and young people should improve such perceptions and do their best in their positions, according to Lee.

To encourage the youth to get jobs at SMEs, it will be necessary for the local governments in which those companies are located to try to improve their local images.

NAU Robotics plans to move to Namdong Industrial Complex in Incheon from its current business site adjacent to Hogupo Station in the city in around March. The new building is about six times larger than the previous one.

Lee said, “Namdong Industrial Complex has a history of over three or four decades, so there are many deteriorated parts,” adding, “I know that the city of Incheon has been executing various projects to improve it. Such efforts should continue to be expanded.”

“Through relocating the company to a larger place, our employees will be able to work in a more comfortable environment. The company is providing a cafeteria and a resting room, and is trying to encourage their sense of achievement and satisfaction for work by operating ‘a research allowance system,’ in order to enhance technological competitiveness,” said Lee.

The company has a plan to establish the robot mass-production system through the company relocation and to expand robot lineups by launching new robots in the first half of the year.