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Aiming for a society where young people can have hope (STORY 3 Enhancing School and Job Opportunities)

We received many comments from participants in the WORKFIT Program. "Before I participated in the program, I only applied for one job per month, but while attending the program, I applied for twelve." The program is a catalyst for bringing about changes in people's actions.

■ Young people lack employment opportunities and are losing hope

Even if they have opportunities for education, some young people have difficulty in finding jobs. The number of people who have not yet settled on a career path accounts for 8.7% of all university graduates̶about 50,000 people annually.*1 The unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 in Japan today is 4.8%, while for people up to the age of 34 it is 4.3%; these rates for the younger generation are higher than the overall level of unemployment.*2
In a survey carried out by the Cabinet Office, International Survey of Youth Attitude, which compares Japan with six other countries (Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States), the share of young Japanese who said they were satisfied with themselves came to 45.8%. This figure stands out as extremely low compared to the other countries, where answers were in the 70%-90% range. And those who said they had hope for the future amounted to 61.6%, which was the lowest result among the seven countries.*3

1 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, FY2016 School Basic Survey (preliminary results).
2 Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, Statistics Bureau, July 2016 Labor Force Survey (preliminary results). 3 Cabinet Office, International Survey of Youth Attitude 2013 (June 2014).

■ Confidence to take the first step together with contemporaries

Recruit Holdings conducts the WORKFIT Program free of charge for Japanese youth. It is our belief that if young people have support, they will definitely be able to find their way. A facilitator helps them with (1) self-diagnosis to rediscover their talents and possibilities and to broaden their horizons for choosing a job, (2) gaining a wider understanding of types of business and jobs, and (3) practice interviews to learn how to present themselves favorably. Over a five-year period, 19,691 Japanese youths have taken these seminars and begun to steadily find their way.

■ Finding a company that suits the character of the young job seeker

Shushoku (Job Hunt) Shop assists young people on their way from having no work experience to their goal of becoming an employee. All the registered members are given detailed interviews to identify their distinctive qualities, which are not always apparent from their resumes. Shushoku Shop has interviewed 88,396 Japanese youths and assisted in introductions to 6,254 companies over nine years. Shushoku Shop intends to continue to play a role in connecting young people and companies, focusing on making personal character rather than submitted documents the basis for choosing a person for a job.

■Aiming to lay a foundation for everyday life

In the case of some children and young people, a stable basis for everyday life must be assured before they can take advantage of educational or employment opportunities.*4 According to the OECD, Japan ranks highest among OECD member countries for the relative rate of poverty for children in single-parent households, making it a serious issue indeed. In response, the Act on Support for Self-Reliance of Needy Persons came into force on April 2015. Assistance for finding employment, temporary assistance for livelihood, including housing and food, support for children's education, and advice for household budgeting are available through help desks in municipalities. Recruit Forrent Insure Co., Ltd., provides rental guarantor agent services when renting housing. Given its role as a guarantor of rent payments, the company can quickly become aware of people who are in arrears on their rent because of some kind of difficulty in everyday life, and it has introduced 62 such persons to help desks in municipalities sinceDecember 2015. The Recruit Group strives to grasp how each company can best offer support, according to the perspectives of its diverse clientele.

4 OECD Family database, "Child poverty."

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