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Japan’s Global ACE gives youth global work experience

The Japanese government has launched a programme that will support young people to travel abroad to undertake internships, volunteering, working holidays or overseas language training from this summer.

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Candidates must complete a minimum of three months abroad

Commissioned by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare  (MHLW) and implemented by the Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS), the Global Action for Careers and Employability (Global ACE) aims to boost the employability and vocational skills of under-35s.

Initially 400 students will go abroad supported by career counsellors who will help them identify key skills they will need to be competitive in the job market.

Prior to departure, candidates create a vocational development plan and “job card” based on their motivations for working abroad and their career plans on their return. with the help of face-to-face coaching from career counsellors.

Work and study abroad is “indispensable for the globalisation of Japan”

The MHLW implemented the “Job Card System” in 2008 in order to provide opportunities for vocational development to individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises.  It records achievements and participation in relevant programmes and can be used in job applications.

Candidates must complete a minimum of three months abroad. Further communication and advice from career counsellors is provided to candidates during that time. A one-day group training course on job hunting is available on their return.

Yukari Kato, Executive Vice President of Ryugaku Journal Inc., one of the country’s oldest education agencies, said that Japanese companies are keen to recruit people with overseas work experience. She added that work and study abroad is “indispensable for the globalisation of Japan”.

Encouraging Japanese youth to go abroad has become a key goal to the current government. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed his “Abeducation” plans to internationalise the country’s HE system including scholarships to double the number of student’s at foreign universities to 120,000.

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