By The Japan News
Asia News Network
The centerpiece of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s plan is the stationing of about 170 people — advisers who will visit the companies, and employment consultants — in key areas across the nation. The ministry aims to help the companies’ preparations for taking on these workers and make the working environment more comfortable for them.
The new residential status will be for jobs in industries facing labor shortages, such as agriculture, construction and nursing care. The workers will be allowed to stay in Japan for up to five years if they have a certain level of technical expertise and Japanese language ability. The government plans to establish the new residential status in April 2019 and is considering which specific job categories will be covered by it.
The advisers will visit companies where foreign employees with the new residential status are working and check whether the labor conditions and employment management practices are appropriate. They will offer advice when necessary. The government plans to secure 76 such advisers across the nation and station them at Hello Work employment support centers in regions that are home to many companies employing these workers.
In addition, 98 employment consultants will be based at Hello Work centers and regional labor bureaus, and they are expected to provide support such as helping to draw up employment-related documents for these companies. Also, certified social insurance labor consultants and management consultants for small and midsize companies would be entrusted to serve as “support consultants” for foreign laborers with the new residential status, and would be able to provide advice on issues including social insurance and labor insurance.
The government will likewise boost support for foreign students and others wishing to work in Japan. An employment service center for foreigners will be established in Fukuoka Prefecture to provide opportunities there to match companies with the students and other foreign nationals. Such centers already operate in Nagoya, Osaka and Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.
The scramble to secure human resources who can be immediately effective is becoming a global competition. The labor ministry hopes the string of policies in the pipeline will boost Japan’s appeal as a place to work.
Suga: 10-20 sectors eyed
The new residential status likely will be available for workers in “from 10 to 20” industry sectors, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.
“The talk is that it’ll be for 10 to 20 industry sectors that would suffer major disruptions to their business without foreign human resources,” Suga said during an address in Tokyo.
It was initially anticipated the new residential status would be for workers in fields such as agriculture and nursing care. At a press conference after his address, Suga said the new status could also apply to workers in the fisheries and restaurant industries.
The government plans to submit relevant legislation, including a bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, during the extraordinary Diet session scheduled to convene in late October.