Indonesian vocational institutions fill Japan’s special skilled job vacancies

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An elderly couple walks through red-coloured wooden torii gates at a shrine, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Training Indonesian youths to care for Japan’s ageing population

TOKYO/JAKARTA – Indonesia’s vocational institutions are providing training to youths seeking to fill special skilled job vacancies in Japan. One such institution is the Onodera User Run school in Jakarta, which offers Japanese language training and elderly care services to its students. This type of training is in high demand in Japan, which has one of the world’s most rapidly ageing populations, with people aged 65 and older accounting for 28% of the population, according to U.N. data.

The decline in Japan’s working-age population has led to a shortage of workers to care for the elderly. Hiroki Sasaki, labour attache at the Japanese embassy in Jakarta, estimates that only about 130,000 of the 340,000 special skilled job vacancies in Japan have been filled. This has made it increasingly necessary for Japan to hire foreign workers with special skills, including those trained in elderly care services.

As Japan’s working-age population shrinks, foreign workers are becoming increasingly necessary

Indonesia, as the world’s fourth most populous country, with over 280 million people, has the potential to supply a large number of workers to fill Japan’s job vacancies. As of December 2022, over 16,000 Indonesians were working under Japan’s special skilled worker scheme, the second-highest number after Vietnam.

A woman carrying a parasol makes her way into a commercial building in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
A woman carrying a parasol makes her way into a commercial building in Tokyo, Japan, May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Kamila Mansjur, the principal of the Onodera User Run school, believes that sending workers to Japan to care for the elderly benefits both countries. “In Indonesia, we have an increase in the population of about three million every year. Yet here we have our challenge, which is a lack of jobs,” she said.

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The demand for workers trained in elderly care services is likely to continue to grow in Japan, as the country’s ageing population continues to increase. By offering training to Indonesian youths, vocational institutions in Indonesia are helping to fill this demand and provide employment opportunities for young people in their country. – Reuters