Japanese Legislative Body Mulls Over the Need to Compel National Exam for Foreign Caregivers

The Japanese government hopes to encourage more and more graduates from universities and vocational schools to work in elderly care centers and social welfare groups. In consideration of the aging population in the country as a result of its low birth rate and decline in inward migration, there is a tremendous increase in the number of senior citizens and a corresponding decline in the labor force due to lack of able bodied skilled workers.


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In this regard, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry of Japan intends to submit a bill that will encourage care givers to apply for visa to work and reside in the Land of the Rising Sun. Ordinarily, foreign applicants of the “Specified Skilled Worker” visa have to obtain at least a N4 level in the Japanese language proficiency test and pass the industry specific exam to be conducted by the particular industry that the foreign worker intends to apply for.


Since Japan is forecasted to need around three hundred and forty thousand care workers by the year 2025, the government aspires to welcome more and more care givers who have successfully completed nursing training and have work place ready skills. As such, it is necessary for Japan to be able to attract more foreign workers in order to address the much needed work force in the country.


To entice even more care givers and nurses to work in elderly centers in Japan, the government has decided to grant provisional certifications to these foreign workers so as to effectively allow them to acquire the Specified skilled worker visa without the need of taking and passing the industry specific exam.


A number of officials and law makers in Japan are concerned that if they will compel potential foreign care givers in Japan to take the national exam, they might be discouraged to continue with their application. On the other hand, other members of the legislative body argued that passing the exam is important to ensure that they will provide a high quality of care giving services to the senior citizens.


Reference: Ministry to extend provisional certification for care course graduates


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