A shortage of skilled researchers has prompted South Korea's government to bring a number of 70 year-old scientists out of retirement and put them to work in small and medium-sized businesses.
The country's science ministry announced that 79 small firms would receive the services of retired scientists. Most of the retirees are in their sixties, but the oldest is 71, the JoongAng Daily reported.
Korea's giant conglomerates, such as Samsung and LG Electronics, have hoovered up most of the country's skilled research talent, leaving slim pickings for smaller firms, according to local media reports.
The scientists will be paid approximately $2,500 per month, 80 per cent of which will come from the government.
They have signed one-year contracts which can be extended for up to three years under the current sponsorship programme, according to the JoongAng Daily.
Korean research scientists with expertise in diverse fields including nuclear reactor design and synthetic diamond manufacture will take up positions with companies in a range of fields, including reactor design, small machinery parts and plastic pipe manufacturing.
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