Japan is slowly beginning to open doors to foreign tech workers amidst a dire shortage of IT-related engineers, as per a report in the Japan Times.
Many technology firms are increasingly venturing outside Japan’s borders to source IT talent, the report says. In order to attract foreign talent, Japanese firms are hosting events, providing more options for office locations outside of the capital and are also offering more perks for foreign workers. These include language lessons and support to make settling in a faraway country easier.
Among these firms are Mercari which is aiming to increase the number of engineers to 1,000 from the current 350 in the future. The firm has been heavily promoting recruitment in India and China, through events such as the hackathon. To facilitate these foreign workers, Mercari has also created a dedicated team that provides assistance in finding housing, opening bank accounts and getting cellphones, among other support services.
Similarly, Line Corp., a popular messaging app service, plans to raise the number of engineers to 3,000, from around 2,100, in the near future. In order to make hiring foreign talent easier, the firm is not asking for Japanese language proficiency, removing a hurdle for talented engineers who cannot speak Japanese.
While hiring openness to hire foreign workers in IT will also be a good diversity measure for the Japanese IT sector, the openness also stems from the fact that Japan’s ageing society is staring in the face of a dearth of available talent. No wonder it is rolling out a slew of policies making it easier for foreign workers to work in Japan.
In October, for instance, to solve this challenge of lack of available young talent, Japan is employing a new policy under which it will open its doors to 500,000 foreign workers for the next six years from 2019 to 2025. From the Philippines, it plans to acquire 50,000 workers starting 2019. The new policy will provide more opportunities for the growing number of young talent in the Philippines and many Filipino nurses, shipbuilders, farmers and construction workers will make their way to Japan.