Obstacles to employing foreign students
In the Hokuriku-Shinshu region, which is experiencing the “opening effects” of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, the ratio of placements to vacancies in the public sector is in decline amid the continued labor shortage, and there is a growing movement to recruit foreign workers to strengthen companies’ work force. There are 36,000 foreign workers in the four prefectures of the Hokuriku-Shinshu region (as of the end of October 2016), representing about 1.5% of the total working population. However, their employment status is generally low; the recruitment of “highly skilled professionals” with undergraduate or graduate degrees has stagnated.
Foreign students’ inability to deal with complex business situations, their lack of the requisite proficiency in Japanese for harmonious workplace relationships, and differences in business culture and customs have been cited as causes and issues.
Apart from the fact that the appeal of working for companies in the Hokuriku-Shinshu region has not been sufficiently communicated to foreign students, the region’s system for accepting foreigners is not as robust as that of major metropolitan areas. This is another roadblock to, as well as a regional issue in, expanding the employment of foreign students.