The Daily Manila Shimbun


EXCLUSIVE: Seamless Aid Eyed in Japan for Employment Ice Age Workers

August 14, 2019

Tokyo- Japan's labor ministry plans to launch a program aimed at offering seamless support for people from the so-called "employment ice age" generation, through cooperation with industry organizations, Jiji Press learned on Wednesday.

The ministry aims to help nonregular workers in their mid-30s to mid-40s acquire regular employee status by providing support, ranging from vocational qualifications to employment, under the program, to be launched in fiscal 2020, informed sources said.

Industry organizations involved in the program, including groups from the construction, transport, agriculture and information technology industries, hope that such an initiative will help tackle labor shortages, the sources said.

The ministry is expected to include needed costs in its budget request for the fiscal year that starts next April, according to the sources.

In the envisaged program, industry organizations, under outsourcing contracts with the ministry, will establish short-term courses for vocational qualifications.

Job seekers who apply for such courses in specific industries will be able to receive the needed training and classes. After obtaining vocational qualifications, they can take up internship opportunities at companies seeking workers for a half day to three days, the sources said.

Possible vocational qualifications in the construction industry include licenses to operate small cranes and forklifts.

The ministry is also discussing with the transport, farm and IT industry organizations the vocational qualifications and skills to be covered under the program, the sources said.

To help nonregular workers, the program is expected to utilize e-learning systems and conduct courses at night and weekends for some sectors.

The Japanese government has set a target of creating 300,000 regular jobs over three years for people from the employment ice age generation, who experienced difficulty finding jobs in the aftermath of the collapse of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Jiji Press