Seowon University was selected as an ‘Industry Professional Practicum (IPP)’ in 2017 by the Ministry of Employment and Labor. The IPP is an education and training system developed by Germany and Swiss. It has since been adopted by Korea. This is a system that allows junior and senior university students to sign work contracts and insurance policies. The IPP program is intended to have students participate in it for 4-6 months. Current school-based vocational education has started to improve students’ adaptability to the field because companies are having trouble getting enough resources for their immediate needs.
As a result of the selection of this project Seowon University will receive a maximum of one billion won for the first year and a maximum of two billion won for the next five years. Seowon University has entered into an agreement with educational enterprises to enable field training.
Our school is planning to create a new vocational qualification course, acquire IPP participating companies, and create an IPP project organization based on NCS (national incompetence standard) to practically nurture necessary talent in the region. In addition, it will establish an agreement with IPP participating companies and will support the long-term field work of 150 students.
Through this project, it is expected that students will strengthen their working capacity, raise employment rates and job satisfaction levels, and solve the youth unemployment problem due to mismatches between universities and industries. Seowon University President, Son Seok Min said, “Our school aims to strengthen the employment capacity of the students by improving the practical skills of the students, solving the jo mismatch problem, and fostering excellent talents.”
There are many reasons for implementing the IPP system. One reason is it addresses the “U-turn admission” phenomenon which increases the number of students who graduate from a four-year college and return to college. According to the ‘2012~2016 four-year general university graduation status and U-turn admission status, U-turn enrollees have been steadily increasing. In 2012, there were 1102, in 2013, there were 1253, in 2014, there were 1283, in 2015, there were 1379, and in 2016, the number reached 1395. The most important consideration for students who were in the U-turn enrollment was the possibility of employment. There is concern that the competitiveness of four-year universities has weakened and that junior colleges have gained competitiveness.
It is judged that the college has secured the competitiveness of employment compared to four-year universities that have weakened their employment competitiveness.
IPP seems to be trying to improve job competitiveness by eliminating job mismatches between four-year colleges and companies. Through this program students can experience long-term business practice, acquire practical knowledge and skills, and companies can find talented people early. One company which has participated in the test operation said, “I thought would be able to identify good talent in advance by seeing how they use their majors in practice and giving their opinions.” IPP was piloted last year, and it is expected to expand in a full-fledged operation phased to 30% of all 4-year universities including the department of humanities in arts and theater.
The great aspect of IPP is that it will activate youth employment in a low fertility and aging society. For example, AJIN INDUSTRIES has achieved tremendous success with a 52% increase in sales and a 260% reduction in turnover rate through the implementation of the daily learning concurrence program. Also, the satisfaction rate of the learning workers was high as 95%.But we do not know if the students in IPP will receive the professional and important content of the companies they work in. There is also the inconvenience of having to take seasonal semesters to fill the credits.
Selection conditions vary from school to school. Our school’s priorities are expected to include grades and official English scores. The Minister of Employment and Labor Lee Kye-gwon said, “I will do my best to spread IPP so that talented people with practical abilities other than academic skills are preferred”. If you have any further questions about IPP, it would be a good idea to go the Ministry of Employment and Labor website.