Creating Responsive Adult Learning Opportunities in Japan

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The COVID-19 crisis has reiterated the importance of adult learning and career guidance services as many adults have lost their jobs and now require upskilling and reskilling opportunities in order to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world of work. To foster the development of responsive and more widespread adult learning opportunities in Japan, this report analyses several policy options to expand access to training, remove the barriers to training participation, and ensure that the training provided is aligned with Japan’s labour market needs. It also discusses the importance for Japanese workers of receiving guidance and support from their employer to facilitate career progression and the need for externally provided guidance services for workers who want to change jobs. Based on this analysis, this report provides actionable policy recommendations as well as good practice examples from OECD countries.



Implications for the Japanese employment system

Japan’s unique employment practices explain to a great extent the existing public policies on adult learning and the general attitudes towards workers’ skills development. Therefore, this chapter presents the distinctive Japanese employment system, with a specific focus on lifetime employment, seniority wage schemes, and regular graduate recruitment rounds. It also discusses the challenges that the system faces due to the structural changes in the labour market, and shows how the system has already been changing in recent years.


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