Asian countries train young caregivers for Japan’s elderly

With Japan expanding its acceptance of foreign workers from this month, major countries in Asia are stepping up on preparations to dispatch workers. In particular, caregiving, a field expected to draw up to 60,000 workers to Japan over the next five years, is attracting great attention.

“You’re going to move over to the wheelchair now, so I’m going to support your waist.”

In late March, 11 Vietnamese women at an educational facility in a suburb of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, were being trained in caregiving, doing an exercise in which they played the roles of elderly people and caregivers. Their purpose was to learn practical skills and specialized Japanese terminology so as to be able to work in Japan. A 21-year-old participant explained, “I want to work in a hospital in Vietnam as a nurse in the future, so I want to get experience in caregiving in Japan.”

Hoang Long, the Hanoi-based staffing company running the training, has already sent approximately 50 technical trainees in caregiving to Japan. If Japan and Vietnam conclude an agreement based on the new system for accepting foreign workers, Hoang Long plans to send workers to Japan based on the new Type-1 residence status for those with specific skills. The company is gathering information and training human resources.

“We consider this a major business opportunity,” said vice president Pham Duc Vuong. He said that inquiries about staffing from nursing homes in Japan have soared since the end of last year.

Vietnam has 13 certified companies that dispatch nursing care personnel. A representative from a Japanese social welfare corporation operating in central Vietnam said that “a multiple number of agencies with experience in dispatching workers are moving toward business expansion.”

In the Philippines, the nursing care exam that is compulsory for gaining the specific skills status is being held April 13 and 14 at a university in Metropolitan Manila. This is based on an agreement concluded between the two countries. Human resources development is moving forward at a brisk pace.

Manila-based staffing agency Alpha Tomo International Manpower Services has seen applications to work in Japan come pouring in. Most of the over 100 applicants are nurses.

The head of the human resource department, Almario Cristobal, explains a background factor: “Salaries are twice as high if they work in Japan.”

Another staffing agency based in Manila, Phil. Assist Life Manpower Corp., has dispatched about 200 factory workers annually to work in fields such as welding. The company plans to make a full-fledged entry into the caregiving market as well. “We are excitedly looking forward to job offers from Japanese companies,” said liaison officer Rey Salazar.

Written by Yoichiro Tanaka and Mayumi Oshige
Source: The Japan News
Published on 10 April 2019

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