The Japanese government is following in the footsteps of its Chinese counterparts, as it looks to use UK firms to help solve its country’s employment problems.
Delegates from the Japanese ministry of health, labour and welfare held a meeting with training and development firm TNG to discuss how to get people back into employment and provide support for employers.
Ann-Marie Liddiard, director of TNG’s London region, met the delegation and said the traditional Japanese model of cradle-to-the-grave employment with one company was changing.
“They haven’t engaged in the unemployment agenda to the same extent as we have had to,” she said. “Historically, once you were in a company in Japan you stayed there forever. Now, they are feeling the pinch from the success of the other eastern economies.”
One phenomenon that the Japanese were not used to was providing support for lone parents who wanted to get back into work, she said.
In June, Personnel Today revealed that Manpower was the first British company to be contracted by the Chinese government to encourage better working practices and higher productivity in the country.
David Arkless, senior vice-president of corporate affairs at Manpower, warned that the Chinese economy could leave the UK in its wake if Chancellor Gordon Brown did not relax business regulations to allow the UK to compete.