Specified Skilled Worker: Japanese Food Service Industry

Quick Facts: Up to 53,000 workers to be hired within a 5-year period. Work includes food preparation, customer service, and restaurant management. Candidates are hired by a direct employer, no prior experience required.

The food service industry is among Japan’s biggest industries, particularly in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka, where the number of restaurants is continuously increasing. Despite being a growing industry that’s creating many jobs, it is not unaffected by a shortage of workforce. In fact, surveys have shown that the demand for workers in the industry has been increasing. In 2017, the percentage given for lack of manpower in the food service industry was given at 5.4%. This means that if the total number of workers is 4,700,000, there is a shortage of about 250,000 people.

The main reason for this situation is attributed to the decreasing young population in Japan. Still, it can also be due to young locals choosing to engage in different work activities. As is the case with other industries affected by this shortage, the Japanese government is encouraging workers from overseas to apply and work in the country.

With up to 53,000 workers expected to be hired for this industry alone, it certainly opens up ample opportunities for foreigners who want to live and work in Tokyo, Osaka, or any cities in Japan.

Job Scope
Employers for specified skilled workers in the food service category mostly would be in restaurants, cafes, fast-food chains, bar & lounge, bakery, and other facilities that serve food – including bento (lunch box) and takeout shops.

Workers should learn a wide range of skills based on the basic operations of a restaurant. The topics for study range from cleanliness management, to food preparation and customer service include cleaning up food preparation and dining areas, preparing and cooking ingredients, as well as taking customer orders, and serving food.

In other words, employees will have the opportunity to experience a variety of roles in the food service industry, such as cleanup staff, kitchen helper, cook, bartender, or waiter. Because required skills in the food service industry can be quite diverse, and workers may just find themselves picking up some valuable and transferable skills, as well as the Japanese language by the end of their term.

Tests and Requirements
New candidates who are applying for a Specified Skilled Worker Visa (Type 1) should (mandatory) pass two criteria in order to qualification:
・Tokutei Ginou 1 basic evaluation test: Food Service Industry
・Basic Japanese language from JFT test OR JLPT N4
・Basic evaluation tests for the Food Service industry are held both within Japan and in other countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
Further information on test dates can be found here.

Candidates will be tested on the three operational categories: cleanliness management, food preparation, and customer service.

Those who have experience in the industry and have completed their term as a Specified Skilled Worker 2 will not be required to take the tests before applying.

So, What Are You Waiting For?
Prepare yourself for the next journey in Japan or find more about other types of Specified Skills Workers opportunities now! And find more opportunities in Japan below:


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