With Asian powerhouse country Japan all set to open its doors to more foreign workers starting this year, many Filipinos who dream to visit (and work) in the “Land of the Rising Sun” have plenty of reasons to get their hopes up, as confirmed by the Philippines’ Department of Labour and Employment.
Through the new specified skills visa, foreign workers including Filipinos can apply for work across various industries which have been greatly affected by the labour crunch due to the country’s ageing population, as well as declining birth rates.
DOLE Sanctions Deployment of Workers to Japan this July
In an update shared by the Philippine News Agency, the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) targets to start the deployment of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to Japan by July.
According to Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III, the delay in the deployment of Filipino workers to Japan is due to some issues that still needed to be settled, such as the specific qualifications of the workers.
Among the qualifications needed for workers to be accepted for work in Japan include studying Nihonggo, Japan’s language.
In March, the Philippines and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC), which provides better protection for OFWs to be hired under a new specified skills residency in Japan.
The MOC was attested and signed by Secretary Bello and Japanese Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita.
Based on the new pact, the specified skills include those in health care, building maintenance, food services, industrial machinery, electronics, food manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling, and aviation.
As per DOLE, around 100,000 jobs are expected to be opened to foreign workers.
Furthermore, the labour cooperation pact aims to eliminate illegal recruiters for the smooth facilitation of sending and accepting workers from Philippines to Japan.
In line with this, the DOLE has also released Department Order No. 201 Series of 2019 last March which outlines the guidelines for the qualifications of the workers.
The following are the qualifications as detailed in Department Order No. 201 for the Specified Skilled Worker who is allowed to work in Japan for a maximum of five years:
- Must be at least 18 years old;
- Must have qualified based on an examination or other evaluation method to ensure that the applicant possesses skills requiring considerable knowledge or experience necessary for the work which the applicant intends to engage in;
- It must also be proven through an examination or other relevant evaluation method that the applicant possesses the Japanese language proficiency necessary for living in Japan as well as the language proficiency necessary for the work which the applicants intend to engage in;
- Finally, the applicant must possess a passport valid for at least six months prior to the intended date of departure.
A total of 350,000 available jobs in Japan, specifically in the sectors of health care, building maintenance, food services, industrial machinery, electronics, and food manufacturing await successful foreign candidates under the new specified skills visa scheme.
Other job openings are also available in the areas of agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling, and aviation.
As per DOLE’s estimate, Filipino workers would get at least 30 percent of the jobs being offered, when employment opportunities were opened to foreign workers last April 1.