Technical Internship Programs for Konbini Foreign Part-Timers

The convenience store industry in Japan will be offering the government-sponsored Technical Internship Program and Nihongo proficiency for its non-Japanese part-time employees. The Japan Franchise Association is also lobbying for the government to include convenience store management into it. Overall, the program aims to provide technical skills, technology and knowledge to people from developing countries who are working in companies or farms in Japan and is set to roll out on November next year.


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Amidst the chronic shortage of local workforce, Seven Eleven Japan Co., FamilyMart Co. and Lawson Inc. have been actively hiring non-Japanese part-timers. Most of them are staying in Japan to study. Non-Japanese part-timers working in these three konbini or convenience stores have gone up to 44,000 for the 10 years. This is 6% of all part-timers working for them. It is only logical for the Japanese government to offer the said assistance.


In general, Seven Eleven has 6.5% non-Japanese part-timers of its total workforce, compared to 1.5% eight years ago. FamilyMart and Lawson currentlt have 5% and 4.5% respectively. However, the ratio is much higher in urban areas. For instance, there are 20% foreign part-timers in Seven Eleven stores in Tokyo compared to less than 1% in Hokkaido.


Konbini started more than 30 years ago in Japan. Now with 60,000 konbini all over the country, more and more people are going to these stores not just for quick meals and snacks, local delicacies and daily sundries but also for medicines, cosmetics, underwear, minor house repair tools, black ties for funerals, and even bills payment and ticket purchases, just to name a few.


Reference: Foreign part-timers at Japan’s convenience stores rising


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