Japan panel proposes new technical trainee program

TOKYO, Nov 25 (NHK) - A Japanese government panel has proposed changes to a program for on-the-job training of foreign workers after the initiative was cited for labor abuses.

The panel recommended replacing the existing technical trainees initiative with one allowing participants to switch employers under some conditions.

The present scheme includes an up-to five-year commitment and prohibits workers from moving to another employer.

The experts unveiled their final report on Friday.

The report says the new program would aim to train interns for three years, covering specialized knowledge and skills.

The initiative would be deployed in industries such as nursing care, construction and agriculture. The report says those who want to obtain specified skilled worker status will be required to pass tests in technical skills and the Japanese language.

It also says that trainees are allowed to change their employers in the same field, if they have worked for more than a year and have certain technical and Japanese language abilities.

Many trainees under the current system pay substantial fees to staffing agencies and brokers. The new program would have a framework for Japanese firms to share costs for trainees.

The panel plans to submit the report to Justice Minister Koizumi Ryuji as soon as next week.

Nov 25 (TBS NEWS) - 30年間続いてきた外国人の「技能実習制度」を廃止し、人材確保と育成を目的とした「育成就労制度」にする案を政府の有識者会議がとりまとめました。しかし、支援の現場からは状況が改善するかは不透明という声も上がっています。  ...continue reading