Japan Welcomes Health Care Services Under TITP

Japan’s Technical Intern Training Program has welcomed health care services as part of their expanded vocational training program for foreign workers. Under this program, Japanese firms accept trainees from developing countries to help acquire job skills and eventually be employed in the country.

 

Photo credit to: http://edition.cnn.com

 

TITP was introduced in 1993 to transfer skills in the fisheries, agricultural and industrial sectors to developing economies. As of November 1, 2017, the government has decided to accept trainees from Vietnam, China, Philippines, and Indonesia. The training period has also been stretched from three years to five years.

 

The nursing care provided by the said foreign workers have become an indispensable part of Japan’s labor force. At the end of 2016, there were 88,000 Vietnamese, 81,000 Chinese, 23,000 Filipinos, and 19,000 Indonesians in the sector.

 

The decision to include care services in the program’s coverage is the latest in a series of steps in bringing foreigners to Japan and work in the care industry. The first phase was in 2008 when Japan let workers from these developing countries come as care-worker candidates under various bilateral agreements. If they pass the government exams, they can be certified as care workers and continue working in the country. The second phase, which was introduced in September this year, allows foreigners to enroll in vocational schools in Japan and become certified care workers to stay and continue working.

 

One of the major reasons for the program’s expansion is the rapid aging of Japan’s population. It is estimated that by 2025, when every post-war baby boomer have turned at least 75 years old, about 6.04 million Japanese elders will require care. That is too much to handle for younger Japanese considering that there is a foreseen shortage of 380,000 care workers by that time.

 

The chronic shortage of nursing care workers is due to the industry’s low wages amidst the demanding workload. Although businesses engaged in care services generally welcome the foreign trainees, others worry that the program is just a means to get cheap labor compromising the quality of care given to the elders.

 

Reference: Revamped foreign trainee system

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