26 September 2023

JAPAN: New plan to hire ‘ice age’ workers

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‘The Japanese Government’s new strategy of hiring mid-career workers from the private sector as Public Servants has begun with entry examinations conducted in nine cities across the country.

They are the first such tests as part of the Government’s efforts to support members of the so-called ‘ice age’ generation — people mainly in their 30s and 40s who have struggled to land jobs since Japan’s economic bubble collapsed in the early 1990s.

The National Personnel Authority said 157 positions at Central Government offices were available and 5,634 applicants took the examinations. The competition rate was 35.9 to one.

Written examinations, including a knowledge test and essay writing, were given at 18 locations in Tokyo, Osaka and seven other cities.

Those who pass the examination are to be announced on 25 December and will move on to interviews to be conducted by each Government Agency between 25 January and 5 February next year.

The successful candidates in this final stage will be announced on 25 February.

Among the jobs on offer are 30 clerical jobs at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and 17 technical positions at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Those born between 2 April 1966, and 1 April 1986 are eligible to take the examination regardless of their job or academic records.

A 38-year-old casual worker who took the tests in Tokyo said he knew the examination would be highly competitive “but I decided to take on the challenge because a Civil Service job is a steady job”.

The Government says it intends to intensively work on hiring mid-career workers as Public Servants through to 2022. It will conduct more examinations next year.

Tokyo, 1 December 2020

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