Government to Improve Job Prospects for Freelancers and Foreign Students

The government meets to discuss measures aimed at improving job prospects and supports for freelance workers and foreign students in Japan

Freelance worker

Japan was once a country of job-for-life employment with Japanese employees committing to one organisation for their whole career. However, times are changing with the increasing number of freelancers and foreign students in the market for jobs in Japan.

Freelancers feel more job satisfaction

Job satisfaction is higher among self-employed and freelance workers than corporate employees, suggesting that office workers feel trapped within an organisation.

In a continued effort to improve working conditions, the government is discussing ways to promote freelance work and create opportunities for people to work without being bound to a corporation.

Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, stated that it is necessary to provide sufficient protections for freelancers via the labour policy.

the government revised measures drawn up in 2018 to promote a more inclusive society which aims to help foreign students who are looking for a job

Freelance market is on the rise

A recent Cabinet Office survey revealed that freelancers currently make up 19.1 per cent of workers in the construction industry, 10.7 per cent in the retail and wholesale sector and 9.8 per cent in the academic and specialist research field.

New services such as Uber Eats, where individual contractors deliver food, has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in freelance workers in Japan.

In addition to that, policy changes in corporations such as Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and SoftBank Corp now allow employees to take on side jobs – a practice that major companies actively discouraged in the past.

Expanding job opportunities for foreign students

The Japanese government plans to increase support for foreign students seeking jobs in Japan.

At a meeting on Friday the government revised measures drawn up in 2018 to promote a more inclusive society which aims to help foreign students who are looking for a job in Japan.

The new package includes broadening the range of foreigners who can take tests in Japan that would enable them to obtain new types of visas.

The government will also notify companies of a system in which foreign nationals are entitled to stay in Japan, even if there’s been a gap between graduation and employment.

Creating a more open and updated system

The government will conduct a briefing session at a consultation centre for foreign people that will open in 2020, the aim of which is to share information around the recruitment of international students.

Currently, only mid- and long-term foreign students are eligible to take tests, but the proposed plan will allow visitors, including those visiting on business or sightseeing trips, to take the tests.

As of the end of November, total number of foreign residents in Japan with new work visas in 1,019. However, under the proposed changes, we are likely to see that number increase in the future.

Are you a freelancer hoping to work in Japan? Or a graduate on the lookout for a position in a Japanese firm? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comment section.

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

As the Japanese government relaxes its policies on employment, new opportunities open up for people looking for work in Japan.

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