A year after the government launched a program for foreign workers to train as nursing care workers, fewer people than expected have joined the program, according to data released Dec. 1.
When the trainee program in the nursing care industry started last November, 986 people applied and 472 were accepted ? but only 247 foreigners have participated, according to the data from the Organization for Technical Intern Training, which runs the program.
The government had hoped to add 5,000 foreign workers to the caregiving sector in the program’s first year as part of a five-year plan to address a labor shortage in the sector with the help of foreign workers.
“It’s less than we had hoped,” a government official said.
The low participation is apparently due in part to the program’s language requirement. Participants need to pass the N3 level of the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, which denotes “the ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree,” in their second year or be sent home.(Kyodo)