Transforming the Workplace
Kyushu Graduates Pursue Careers in Other Parts of Japan (#3 of 6 part series)
During this year’s Spring vacation, Shiseido held a briefing session about job opportunities in their company at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) for the first time. The event was held in line with the company’s recent efforts to attract international workers as they look to improve their position in the global market, and sought to entice some of the school’s 2,800 international students.
A manager from Shiseido’s human resources division spoke at the event, which was attended by more than 100 students, and stressed that the company is looking to recruit talented people who can transform the company. All the explanations at the APU event were in English to make the content easier for international students to understand. The company also held two make-up workshops inside the university so that students could get better acquainted with their products.
APU opened in 2000. Around 80 companies held recruitment events in the university at the time the first graduating class was job hunting. In contrast, there are currently about 300 companies that hold information sessions about career prospects in their companies as well as screenings for prospective employees. The size of APU’s student body has increased by 50% since it first opened and the current figure includes international students from 50 different countries around the world. The university’s vice president stated that APU is investing in order to draw in talented students and that approximately 20% of the school’s budget is assigned for student scholarships.
At the same time, there are currently around 2,300 international students enrolled at Kyushu University and that figure is on the rise. A staff member in the university’s student support center pointed out that there are now more major companies hiring people irrespective of their nationality. There is particular interest in international exchange students engaged in science and engineering-related fields from manufacturers and IT companies, with recruiters even making individual trips to some of the university’s laboratories in search of new employees.
It seems that international students who choose to stay on and work in Japan after graduating are not just interested in jobs that pay well, but also highly technical businesses and companies that have firmly established management systems in place. Anecdotal evidence suggest that students from universities such as APU are moving to Tokyo after graduating, despite a strong affection for Beppu. It appears that there is a greater range of job opportunities in the capital, especially for graduates who are looking to do business on a global scale.
Among the APU and Kyushu University international students who found jobs at Japanese companies during the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year, around 20 to 30% assumed positions in Kyushu-based companies, while the majority moved to different parts of the country. This phenomenon is not limited to overseas students, with a similar trend also evident among Japanese graduates. The demand for international workers is said to be even greater at big companies, and as the scramble for talent intensifies, the number of Kyushu-educated exchange students leaving the region for other areas of Japan seems to rise.
New Era of Immigration in Kyushu
The number of workers from abroad, including international students and technical interns in Japan, exceeded one million for the first time last year. This group of people form an indispensable component of the workforce, irrespective of the government’s position on immigration. Read more installments from this series here.