Government to financially help poor people access Japan trainee program

By Xuan Hoa   July 7, 2023 | 12:30 am PT
Government to financially help poor people access Japan trainee program
Trainees attend a Japanese language class to prepare themselves for working in Japan in 2022 in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/An Phuong
Young people from districts designated as "poor" will receive financial support for attending a training course for subsequently working in Japan.

Japan is recruiting an unlimited number of trainees in manufacturing and construction, but to be hired they first have to complete its Technical Intern Training Program, or IM Japan, the Center for Overseas Labor announced Thursday.

Those who are admitted to the program have to take a "preparatory training" course and pay for it, and the Vietnamese government will pay for candidates from poor districts.

To apply for the program, candidates must be 18-30 and high-school graduates, not have tattoos or a criminal record, and be a minimum of 1.6 m tall in the case of men and 1.5 m in the case of women.

Those who pass the three-month course will be sponsored by the IM Japan program for a four-month technical training course to equip them with specific skills, covering accommodation and fees.

After that, if hired by a Japanese firm, they have to pay for their tickets to Japan.

A trainee will work for three to five years in Japan and get paid VND25-30 million (US$1,058) a month besides insurance worth VND80 million.

Those who return to Vietnam when the contract expires will be paid 1 million yen (US$7,000).

"The program is non-profit, and participants only have to pay for medical examination, passports and airfares to Japan, which will cost no more than VND38 million," a senior Overseas Labor Center official, who did not want to be identified, said.

Launched in 2006 IM Japan has so far recruited 8,000 foreigners.

It is part of the 1993 Technical Intern Training Program that seeks to transfer skills to developing countries.

But many firms have been caught taking advantage of the program to exploit trainees as a cheap source of labor.

In April a panel of academics, government officials and lawyers called on the government to abolish the trainee program and replace it with a new one that recognizes the candidates as workers.

The program has also been criticized for repatriating trainees who became pregnant.

Around 328,000 Vietnamese are currently in Japan as trainees, according to Vietnam’s Immigration Department.

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