Vietnam welcomes and supports Japan's implementation of reviewing and amending regulations related to the intern training programme for Vietnamese interns, which will contribute to improve their working conditions and income, and ensure their individual benefits.
The Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, in coordination with the Immigration Bureau of Japan and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam organised a workshop on technical internship programmes for Vietnamese labour export firms in Hanoi on July 20.
Assessing the skills of workers before sending them to work in Japan.
Vietnamese nationals account for 50% of Japan’s total foreign worker population
Speaking at the event, Pham Viet Huong, Deputy Director of the Department of Overseas Labour (DOLAB) under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs emphasised that over the past three decades since Japan has instituted many technical training internship programmes for Vietnamese interns, and has hosted more than 400,000 young Vietnamese technical interns.
The number of Vietnamese interns to Japan has increased sharply, from 10,200 in 2013 to 82,700 in 2019 (before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic) an eight-fold increase.
The figures were estimated at around 68,000 and 40,400 in 2022 and in the first half of 2023, respectively.
In recent years, the number of Vietnamese workers to Japan has accounted for more than 50% of the number of workers sent overseas to work.
According to Pham Viet Huong, this is a very positive result of Japan’s intern training programmes for Vietnamese interns.
Vietnamese interns in Japan are regarded as hard-working, diligent and inquisitive people who have developed a strong affection for Japanese land and culture.
The DOLAB Deputy Director also highly lauded the efforts of Vietnamese labour export firms in actively and proactively building their selection process for candidates, upgrading training facilities, renewing curriculums, and improving the quality of training for candidates in order to meet the requirements of the receiving Japanese enterprises.
Protecting the rights of Vietnamese workers
Besides the achieved results, the technical internship regime, launched in 1993, has revealed a number of limitations, such as interns receiving only the minimum basic salary without bonuses and allowances like Japanese workers do. Many cases are working with unsecured conditions and low incomes, not being treated well by employers.
Therefore, the relevant Japanese agencies are now considering amending the technical intern training programmes.
Vietnamese welcomes and supports Japan in considering amending the regulations related to the programme on receiving foreign interns and workers to Japan, DOLAB Deputy Director Pham Viet Huong stressed.
He emphasised that Vietnam is willing to coordinate with the Japanese side in the process of policy revision.
While informing participants on the revision of Japan's policy of receiving foreign technical interns in the coming time, Kaneko Ryutaro, an official from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, said the amendment is being examined by a panel of experts.
On that basis, the functional ministries and branches will consider and then make recommendations to amend the relevant laws and submit these to the national legislature for verification and approval.
According to the Japanese official, the revised programme will provide skills for interns to find a job after returning home, and solve the labour shortages of Japanese enterprises.
It will improve transparency and predictability through unions, employers, and relevant agencies in order to create an improved working environment and protect the interests of foreign interns.
In addition, it will also strengthen the functions of trade unions such as contacting and comprehensively supporting foreign workers in Japan, eliminate unqualified intermediaries and labour export firms, and prevent the collection of unnecessary intermediary fees.