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Tokyo Dayori>>Article details
In Japan, the employment situation is steadily improving along with
gradual recovery of the economy. On the other hand, the sense of labor
shortages of Japanese companies is gradually increasing. This time, I
would like to introduce the Japanese government's policy against labor
shortage, the measures taken by the business community, and finally
the results of the new intern student support project launched by

On March 29, Prime Minister Abe announced that he would set up new
status of residence from April 1 "Specified Skilled Worker" that will
accept foreign personnel who will be in immediate force in order to
ease the serious labor shortage situation of Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises (SMEs) in Japan.

Japanese government has already exchanged Memorandums of Cooperation
(MOC) between the two countries with Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal,
Myanmar, and Mongolia, in order to ensure smooth and proper sending
and accepting specified skilled workers (in particular the elimination
of malicious intermediary organizations ) and to show solutions when
problems occur. Japanese government is also in negotiations with
Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Thailand as well.

As of the end of October 2018, the number of foreigners working in
Japan jumped to about 1.46 million. The government plans to provide
grants to local public organizations in order to develop a window
where foreign human resources can receive life counseling such as
employment, medical care, welfare, and child education.

On the other hand, on April 22nd, Chairman of Japan Business
Federation (Keidanren), Mr. Nakanishi announced that he would abolish
the simultaneous recruiting of new graduates in April from
universities in 2022, and shift to various hiring methods such as
year-round recruitment. According to the survey of the Manpower Group
in August 2018, 89% of company owners felt that Japanese companies had
a shortage of human resources including IT engineers, and the rate was
higher than those in China, US and India. According to the estimation
of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, there will be a shortage
of 550,000 advanced IT engineers in 2030. At present, it is very
difficult for SMEs to hire talented IT graduates because job hunting
students are in seller's markets.
According to a survey by Recruit Works Institute, the job opening
ratio for SMEs with less than 300 employees was 9.91 in March 2019,
and is expected to be 8.62 in March 2020. SMEs tend not to attract new
graduate students unless they are actively recruiting.

Under these circumstances, last year, the CICC launched a new project
to send talented students from top IT universities in Myanmar to
Japanese SMEs as interns in order to make up for the lack of IT
engineers in Japan. As a result, 14 intern students went through the
Japanese language training for about one year from April 2018, and
almost all of them reached the passing level of the Japanese Language
Proficiency Test (JLPT) N3 level, and they were able to join three
IT-related SMEs in Tokyo and Gunma.

In addition to the three solution development companies that
participated in last year, two new companies, an embedded system
related company and a civil engineering and construction company, are
participating this CICC internship project this year. At present, 22
talented intern students are taking part in severe trainings every day
aiming to join their Japanese SMEs next spring.

There are two types of internships in the CICC program: one is "Remote
Internship", which combines short-term training at Japanese companies
and long-term training at remote office in Yangon, and the other one
is "On-site Internship", which provides internship training at
Japanese companies throughout the intern period. The new embedded
system company chose the latter "On-site Internship". This is because
the development of embedded systems requires the usage of hardware
such as special IC circuits prepared by companies.

University of Information Technology (UIT) of Myanmar has an exchange
program with Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT) in Niigata, Japan.
Therefore, UIT's intern students can obtain Japanese visas for
international students and can attend NUT's free Japanese classes as
special listening students. In addition, the intern students can use
the inexpensive lodgings and school meals in NUT. They commute daily
by bus from NUT and have been working on six-month advanced internship
training tasks at the companies from April this year.

On the other hand, the civil engineering and construction company that
newly joined this year do not have an information management
department, and is outsourcing their information management to an
external IT vendor.  In recent years, the requirements for the
operation, modification, management, and help desk of the company's
own system has increased. This time, for that reason, the company
expects that Myanmar IT students will work for a long period as the
company's IT management personnel. The intern students of this company
will start one-month "Remote Internship" training in Yangon in June,
and then start "On-site Internship" in Nagoya for three months from
July. In Nagoya, the intern students will take over the part of
IT-related jobs under the guidance of the current external IT vendor.

CICC will continuously implement this support project to ease the
situation of recruitment difficulties for Japanese SMEs as much as
possible, and promote further cooperation in the field of IT human
resources with Myanmar.

Kazuhiro SHINOHARA(Mr.)

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