“Seoul Metropolitan Government’s new slogan, ‘A Globally Attractive City, Going Together With The Socially Neglected,’ encompasses its administrative philosophy that envisions a future led by the city to enhance the country’s competitiveness. In particular, Seoul is striving to rebuild the broken social ladder through the policy of ‘Going Together With The Socially Neglected’ to increase social mobility in various fields such as housing, jobs, education, and welfare.”
Oh Se-Hoon, the Mayor of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, entered the National Assembly in 2000 and began his political career in earnest. He was elected as the 33rd Mayor of Seoul in 2006 at the age of 45 and later succeeded in serving as the 34th Mayor of Seoul in 2010. Seoul won the UN Public Service Awards consecutively by introducing creative administrative approaches through initiatives such as the “Seoul Hope Plus Savings Accounts Program” and the “Seoul Women-Friendly City Project.” In 2010, Seoul was designated as the UNESCO World Design Capital for enhancing urban competitiveness through the “Design Seoul Policy.” The long-term lease housing project “Shift” has been recognized worldwide by United Nations as an exemplary urban housing initiative.
During his tenure, Seoul’s urban competitiveness index rose from 20th to 10th, and the integrity of metropolitan governments rose from 15th to 1st. He was elected as the 38th Mayor of Seoul under the banner of fairness and co-prosperity and currently is serving as the 39th Mayor of Seoul. Seoul Vision 2030 presents the direction for the next 10 years, and he is continuously striving to turn Seoul into a “Co-prosperous city” that guarantees a fair environment and opportunity, a “Global leading city” that ranks among the top 5 global cities, a “Resilient city” that ensures a healthy and safe life, and a “Future emotional city” that impresses people with attractiveness and sensibility while enhancing the dignity of the city.
“Seoul is a city that shares experiences with other cities and cooperates with the international community to lead change for a better world. It is an honor to join the OECD Champion Mayors Initiative and hope to share a variety of experiences together.”
The Seoul Safety Income Project (SSIP) is an ongoing pilot project by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) aimed at restoring income security. Households earning 85 percent or less of the median income will benefit from the project. Eligible households will receive up to 50 percent of the amount needed to raise their income to 85 percent of the Standard Median Income. By providing more support to low-income households, the project aims to address the wealth gap and improve welfare. As of July 2022, the SMG has selected 500 households earning 50 percent or less of the median income and is providing income support until 2025. In 2023, the eligibility was expanded to households earning 85 percent or less of the median income, and currently, 1,100 households are under evaluation. With the assistance of local and foreign economic and welfare experts, the SMG is studying the potential effects of the Safety Income Project on individuals and society as a whole, with the goal of transforming the welfare support model.
Educational inequality perpetuates and solidifies social class stratification. To address this challenge, the SMG initiated the education support program called “Seoul Learn,” aiming to provide a level playing field and equal opportunities for youth. Through Seoul Learn, vulnerable youth facing difficulties in accessing quality education are given a chance to access various types of educational support through a publicly funded education platform. The SMG is designing more comprehensive support to create a society where anyone can achieve their dreams.
The SMG supports young people in realizing their career potential based on their interests. The “Seoul Youth Intern Job Camp” matches young job seekers with companies seeking talented individuals and aims to provide 1,750 jobs by 2025. The SMG identifies specialized jobs in new industries that are relevant to the post-COVID-19 era, such as online content, zero waste, and social ventures. It plans to offer 2,500 jobs by 2025 through a combination of on-site internships, job training, and increasing private sector job opportunities in high employment industries like AI and Fintech. Additionally, the SMG is developing “Campus Town” as a strategy to create an entrepreneurial-friendly city. It will establish “Campus Town Valleys” in three regions (Northwest, Southwest, and Northeast) and operate advanced training programs in fields like AI and big data.
In Seoul, nine out of ten middle-aged people (40-64 years old) desire more robust employment support policies. The city plans to build an environment where middle-aged individuals can re-enter the workforce and leverage advanced smart technologies to address the challenges posed by an aging society. Seoul will provide support for career changes, including comprehensive education, counseling, and job search assistance for individuals in their forties and older. The city aims to expand the number of social contribution jobs that utilize the experience and skills of middle-aged and older adults to reach up to 7,000 jobs per year.