Quick Facts: – Up to 60,000 workers to be hired within a 5-year period. – Work centers around providing personal care assistance to the elderly and disabled. – Candidates are hired by a direct employer – No prior experience required
Faced with the looming problem of Japan’s aging population, many sectors have been pushed towards recruiting workers from overseas to make up for the lack of workforce found locally. Industries from service to agriculture have been included in the government’s list of fourteen industries that have the most need for Specified Skilled Workers, or Tokutei Ginou. While it seems simple to increase the population and thus labor by bringing in people from overseas, the fact remains that the local aging population needs to be cared for. The Care Worker category under the Specified Skilled Worker visa is, therefore, one of the largest, with up to 60,000 workers estimated to be hired within five years.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, the selection ratio between employers and applicants within the Care Worker industry has been on the rise over the past few years and was placed at 3.64 in 2017, 2 points higher than the average 1.54. This means that in general, while there is a high demand for workers within the industry, there are not enough applicants to fill the positions.
Workers in this industry will primarily be responsible for the care of the elderly and the disabled, by providing necessary services to assist them in their daily lives.
The work scope is defined as assisting those who require help in bathing, feeding, and other daily functions, as well as conducting recreational activities and physical therapy for patients. Workers may help serve food, bathe those who are unable to do so themselves, and take care of patients’ physical needs.
Workers will most likely work at care facilities such as homes for the elderly and disabled or may be sent to private homes depending on their employer.
Tests and Requirements
New candidates applying for a Specified Skilled Worker Visa (Type 1) must pass two tests in order to qualify:
- Tokutei Ginou 1 basic evaluation test: Care Worker
- Basic Japanese language test OR JLPT N4
Evaluation Tests are frequently held both within Japan and overseas in Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, and the Philippines. A calendar for overseas test dates can be found here, tests within Japan with Japanese here.
Candidates will be tested on a few subjects: Care working basics, basic human anatomy, communication skills, and life support skills. 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.
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Also published on Medium.