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  Dr. Joseph Chung - Column
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The Korean community of Koreans in Montreal is now entering the adaptation stage of its evolution. This is a crucial stage, because it is a stage where the next generation comprising the 1.5th generation and the second generation people are getting into the job market. Many of them have finished reputed universities. Unfortunately, many of them are having in securing a good job.

The key to the success of the stage of adaptation is the adaptation of the youth to the Quebec society. It is just impossible to expect the adaptation of the first generation people. In other words, the next generation people have the responsibility of the process of adaptation of the community as a whole.

The precondition for adaptation is the job. Unfortunately, the Korean youth are having difficulties in finding suitable jobs. There are several reasons for this reality. First, in Quebec, more than sixty per cent of jobs are obtained through links and networking. This explains why there are so many immigrants who are qualified but who cannot find the job. Second, more than 95% of Korean youth go to English speaking universities in Montreal, where great majority of firms are French speaking. Very few Korean youth go to French speaking universities.

One solution would be the creation of jobs by Koreans. But, most of Koreans run small-scale retail business and cannot offer jobs to Korean youth.

Most of Korean parents prefer McGill University and this is quite understandable; it is one of the world class universities. But they do not know the political reality of Quebec. For great many French Quebecers, McGill is the symbol of English domination in Quebec and some French speaking firms are hesitant to hire immigrants with McGill degrees.

Korean parents should know one important fact; it is much easier to find jobs if their children go to the Université de Montréal or the Université du Québec à Montréal.

The difficulty of finding jobs in Québec leads to the departure of many young Koreans from Montreal; it is so bad that for last ten years, the population of the second generation people had declined. This is a big contrast to other visible minority communities including African community where the population of the second generation has increased.

If this trend continues, the Korean community of Montreal will have a very bleak future. Thus, one has to find solutions. Kim participated at one of the hot debates on the problem of Korean youth employment. The debate took place in Tim Horton café on one of Sundays in July 2011. There were ten people consisting of three senior men, two ladies of the fifties, three men of forties and two university students. The debate was focused on the best way to find jobs for the Korean youth.

“I know that it is advantageous to go to French speaking universities, but it is not easy to overcome the barrier of French. I went to French CEGEP but my French is ok for daily life, but it is not good enough to do university studies. So I went to McGill”, stated one of the students”.

“But, suppose that you go to a French speaking university, does it guarantee a job? No, I don’t think so, because we, Koreans have neither internal nor external networking”, declared a lady.

“ I agree, we do not have internal networking, because, Koreans are not united; they are loners. They do not like to be a part of large group, because they are afraid of exposing their personal matters. Koreans are very competitive and they work hard. But they do not like to share their experiences. They do not like to join networking. Even if they wanted, they do not have any community-wide unity, because they are separated by alumni, home provinces, blood connections and above all churches.

There are fifteen protestant churches and one Roman Catholic Church. It may be possible to have networking inside the church, but it is inevitably short and narrow. In the Korean community, it is just impossible to have networking long enough and wide enough to be of any use”, a men argued with passionate voice.
<to be continued>