South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries has brought in more than 40 welders from Indonesia to work at its Geoje Island yard as it struggles to recruit skilled workers.

Samsung confirmed a total of 41 Indonesian welders had arrived here to work at its offshore and marine yard.

The Indonesians, who arrived Saturday, are believed to be the single largest batch of foreign workers to come to South Korea since the government last month relaxed visa regulations in an attempt to help deal with the manpower shortage facing the local shipbuilding industry.

The Indonesian welders will start working at Samsung's Geoje Island facility after being educated on workplace safety, Samsung said.

The company and its subcontractors, as at the end of December, had hired a combined 782 foreign workers and they are planning to increase the number to around 1200 this year.

Samsung reportedly said it has implemented a variety of measures for foreign workers, including the provision of dormitories and interpreters, adding it would step up its recruitment drive for both domestic and foreign workers to cope with the labour shortage.

Amid a recent surge in offshore and marine orders, South Korean yards have been dogged by a labour shortage due mainly to the large-scale layoffs in the wake of falling orders some five to six years ago.

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