Demand for Foreign Language-Savvy Workers Soars in Battery Industry
POSCO Chemical is looking for engineers fluent in English, French
By Park Jae Hyuk
Fluency in foreign languages has become an important skill for those seeking employment in Korea’s electric vehicle (EV) battery industry, as manufacturers and material suppliers vie to expand their overseas presence in a amid continued uncertainties about the global supply chain, industry officials said. , Thursday.
As of Wednesday, POSCO Chemical began recruiting university graduates fluent in English and French, hiring them for engineering positions at the company’s factories here and abroad.
Contrary to the recent trend in the job market to seek employees specializing in engineering, the chemical company is preparing to hire specialists in foreign languages among candidates specializing in law, politics, public administration, statistics, international trade or foreign languages, with the intention of training them as engineers.
“As we have aggressively expanded our battery materials business overseas, we have decided to hire people who truly understand the cultures and geopolitics of the countries we enter,” POSCO Chemical said in a statement. Press release.
“Due to our continued expansion overseas through the joint construction of a cathode materials plant in Canada with General Motors and strategic partnerships signed with our customers in North America and Europe, we have continued to hire a large number of new and experienced workers.
Korea’s three leading EV battery makers—LG Energy Solution (LGES), Samsung SDI, and SK On—have also sought foreign language experts to bolster their global communications teams.
They have hired new staff with backgrounds in global public relations (PR) and journalism, who have high-level English skills, to task them with writing press releases and networking with overseas media.
After Samsung SDI’s communications team hired a former reporter from an English-language daily late last year, SK On also hired a former reporter from an English-language news agency last month, as well as a former employee of a global PR agency.
“We will continue to strengthen our global public relations department, while continuing to expand overseas,” said a spokesperson for one of the three EV battery makers.
In recent years, job seekers majoring in the humanities and social sciences have been unpopular not only among tech companies, but also among banks and financial institutions, which have prioritized hiring programmers and software engineers for digitization plans.
Most Korean students have therefore devoted themselves to learning coding and other technology-related topics.
The need to diversify the supply chain amid the global trade war, however, has led Korean companies to build their production facilities in various countries, allowing more foreign language specialists to work for export-dependent technology companies.