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German-style vocational program is launched in Japan for the first time

The Japan News
Executives from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan and participants in the recently launched vocational training program will be seen in Tokyo on April 4.

The first German-style vocational program, which combines hands-on and classroom learning, was launched in Japan this month by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (AHK Japan), as it aims to train new automotive mechanic masters. German companies based in Japan have difficulty recruiting highly qualified personnel due to competition with Japanese companies, and AHK Japan is working to make it easier for these companies to attract such personnel.

Participants in the program will follow a curriculum modeled after the curriculum used in Germany. Trainees participate in hands-on training at automotive company factories, while also learning about car maintenance through lectures such as at a vocational school. The program will last three years.

Upon completion of the program, participants receive a certificate in accordance with German government regulations and have the opportunity to work at companies where they have received training. AHK Japan hopes to make the German certificate compatible with Japanese qualifications in the future.

BMW Japan Corp. and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., a subsidiary of German company Daimler Truck AG, have joined the program and participants will come from Mitsubishi Fuso and subsidiaries of BMW Japan. The lectures will be given by a non-profit organization in Tokyo and a vocational school in Kobe.

German training2 Matsunaga
The Japan News
Kazuo Matsunaga, chairman of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., speaks during a ceremony in Tokyo on April 4.

At a launch ceremony on April 4, Kazuo Matsunaga, chairman of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus, expressed hope that the program would be “a valuable experience for those who carry the future.” [of the automotive industry].”

According to a survey of German companies in Japan conducted by AHK Japan and another organization in January and February, 82% of respondents said their biggest business challenge was hiring superior staff. The survey contacted 472 companies operating in Japan and 164 companies responded. Against this backdrop, AHK Japan decided to launch the program in Japan as part of its efforts to secure workers for German companies.

Lucas Witoslawski, COO of AHK Japan, said: “By supporting our companies in their human resources needs, we want to make a sustainable contribution to the development of German-Japanese bilateral relations.”

German-style vocational programs have been launched outside Germany in about 50 countries, including China, South Korea, Italy and Brazil, not only in the auto industry but also in areas such as electronics and chemicals, Witoslawski said. AHK Japan will consider expanding the program beyond the automotive industry in the future, based on requests from companies.



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