Japanese Firms Hiring More Foreign Students For 2012

February 15, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. consultancy (n.) –a business that provides professional advice or information services
Example:  She went to a management consultancy in order to learn how to run a business.

2. expand (v.) – to grow larger in size, amount or range
Example: The restaurant expanded from one shop in the city to 100 shops all over the country.

3. mindset (n.) –  an attitude or mood; the way someone thinks
 Example: We should face challenges and difficulties with a positive mindset.

4. will (n.) – a strong desire to achieve something
Example:  The professor advised his students to always have the will to succeed in life.

5. land (v.)-  to successfully get something
Example: He practiced hard to land the play’s main role.

Read the text below.

As Japanese companies look toward markets abroad, more jobs are being offered to foreign students.

Last January, 1,560 foreign students from Japanese universities signed up to attend a career forum in Tokyo and a job fair in Osaka. The events were organized by recruitment consultancy Fourth Valley Concierge Corporation.

Aki Takeda, Fourth Valley’s director, said that the number of companies participating in the events for foreign students has increased from 12 in 2008, to 47 in 2012, as more businesses aim to expand overseas.

This hiring trend is also showing no sign of slowing down. In a poll held last year by DISCO Inc., only 13.1 percent of the 968 companies said they would recruit foreign students for 2011. However, 24.5 percent answered that they would hire more foreign students starting April this year.

Many firms want to hire foreign students, because apart from being able to speak different languages, the students also have good business mindsets and high potential, Takeda explained.

According to Yuka Kawakami of Mitsubishi Electric Corp.–one of the companies that held briefings in Tokyo–foreign students have also already shown strong will by choosing to study outside their home countries. Just like other firms, Mitsubishi intends to hire more foreign students in 2012.

But while more jobs are being offered to them, foreign students face fewer options in landing jobs in Japan compared to Japanese students who are already finding it difficult to get hired.

Qiu Fei, a Chinese master's student at Kyushu University, said that there are not really many job options for foreign students. Meanwhile, Lu Zhijiang of the University of Tsukuba said that she would be happy to get a job even if not at a top company.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think must people possess in order to easily land a job? Why?
·         Do you think that having studied abroad is an advantage when applying for a job? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How helpful are career forums and job fairs to people who are looking for jobs?
·         If a student fails to get a job after graduation, what other options do you think are available to him or her?


February 15, 2012