According to an announcement made by the Center for Overseas Labor on Thursday, Japan is actively seeking an indefinite number of trainees in the manufacturing and construction sectors. However, before being employed, interested individuals must successfully complete the Technical Intern Training Program, also known as IM Japan.
Applicants accepted into the program must participate in a mandatory "preparatory training" course, which incurs a fee. However, candidates hailing from economically disadvantaged districts will have their expenses covered by the Vietnamese government.
To be eligible for the program, applicants must meet certain criteria. They should be between the ages of 18 and 30, possess a high-school diploma, have no tattoos or criminal record, and meet the height requirement of at least 1.6 m for men and 1.5 m for women.
Students who successfully complete the three-month course will receive sponsorship from the IM Japan program. This sponsorship includes a four-month technical training course aimed at providing them with specialized skills. Additionally, the program covers accommodation and fees associated with the training course.
Subsequently, should they be offered a position with a Japanese company, the responsibility of funding their travel to Japan falls upon them.
During their time in Japan, a trainee can expect to work for a duration of three to five years. In addition to this valuable experience, they will receive a monthly salary ranging from VND25-30 million (equivalent to US$1,058) along with insurance coverage worth VND80 million.
Individuals who choose to return to Vietnam upon completion of their contract will receive a payment of 1 million yen (equivalent to US$7,000).
According to an anonymous senior official from the Overseas Labor Center, the program operates as a non-profit initiative. Participants are only required to cover expenses for medical examination, passports, and airfares to Japan. These costs are estimated to be no more than VND38 million.
Since its establishment in 2006, IM Japan has successfully onboarded a total of 8,000 individuals from various countries.
The objective of the 1993 Technical Intern Training Program is to facilitate the transfer of skills to developing nations.
However, numerous companies have been found guilty of exploiting the program by using trainees as an inexpensive labor force.
In April, a group comprising academics, government officials, and legal experts urged the government to eliminate the trainee program and instead introduce a fresh initiative that acknowledges the candidates as employees.
Critics have also voiced their concerns regarding the program's practice of sending back trainees who become pregnant.
According to the Immigration Department of Vietnam, approximately 328,000 Vietnamese individuals presently serve as trainees in Japan.