NOTE: The source material for this article is here at the MHLW website. Please note that while some MHLW pages and documents are in English, this is an all-Japanese report. As stated by the MHLW, “Only the original Japanese report can be legally relied upon”. Please always seek out local Japanese Sharoushi (Labour Law Attorneys) help to ensure proper understanding and implementation of local labor laws and recommendations. For a basic understanding, only, you might use Google Chrome or any web browser that will machine-translate for you. Japan Announces Guidelines for Workplace Learning.
Parts of the Japanese Labor Standards Act, and other related laws and regulations, are to ensure the proper implementation of employee training. Act No. 49 of 1947, Act No. 89 of 2016, and many others, speak to this directly. Note also that Japan is a founding member of the International Labor Organization (ILO), one of 147 members globally. Japan’s own Labour Act and laws adhere to the principles of the ILO.
Among other things, these laws and regulations address the “protection of technical intern trainees, and promoting international cooperation through the transfer of skills, technique, and knowledge, to developing countries and other regions through human resource development, by way of establishing basic principles and clarifying related responsibilities of the national government and other relevant parties for technical intern training as well as establishing systems for the accreditation of technical intern training plans and the licensing of supervising organizations.”
In all countries, re-learning or re-training is a foundation of employee growth and company vitality.
Today, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced its establishment of the “Guidelines for Promoting Learning and Re-learning in the Workplace”.
As Sharoushi – Labor Law Attorneys – we often deal with this important issue in the workplace. Training and re-training are vital for several reasons. First, for ensuring that employers and employees have a mutual understanding about workplace standards and behavior. Also, for allowing both employees and the company to reach their fullest potential and goals. Finally, for helping the company and its employees align with objectives relating to corporate governance, and community harmony. In other words, with ESG goals (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals.
Based on the proposal by the Labor Policy Council in December in 2021, “Toward the Realization of a “Virtuous Cycle of Learning by the Collaboration of Stakeholders”, discussions were held at the Human Resources Development Subcommittee of the Labor Policy Council and have led to today’s announcement.
A core concept of the announcement is as follows:
“As the environment surrounding companies and workers changes rapidly and widely, and the professional life of workers is prolonged at the same time, the need for workers to learn and relearn is increasing. In an era of change, workers’ “autonomous, independent and continuous learning and re-learning” is important, and “labor-management collaboration” in learning and re-learning is necessary. Based on this background, we have formulated guidelines.”
Thus, the MHLW will work to disseminate the guidelines, foster momentum, and promote environmental improvement in order to promote learning and re-learning in the workplace.
*These are a selection of the main sections from the announcement and the supporting documents. Links to the Japanese source documents are listed at the end of the article.
- Sharing of basic recognition on learning and relearning
- Presenting and sharing management strategies/visions and the direction of human resource development by management
- Clarification of abilities, skills, etc., and sharing of direction and goals for learning and re-learning
- Career inventory at each milestone to improve motivation to learn
- Alignment and sharing of direction and goals for re-learning
- Securing opportunities for workers to learn and relearn autonomously and proactively
- Securing education and training programs for learning and re-learning, and education and training opportunities
- Developing an environment for workers to learn from each other
- Support for promoting workers’ autonomous and proactive learning and re-learning
- Securing time for learning and re-learning
- Financial support for re-learning and re-learningAccompaniment support for continuing learning
- Practice and evaluation of learning that leads to sustainable career development
- Provision of practical opportunities where acquired abilities and skills can be demonstrated Appropriate evaluation of acquired abilities and skills
- Role of leaders in the field, support for leaders by companies
- Roles and Efforts of Site Leaders in Learning and Re-learning Scenes
- Improving Management Capabilities of Site Leaders and Support from Companies
* Links to the source documents announced today are below – they are all in Japanese.