雇用対策 若者の就労支援が緊急課題だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 25, 2009)
Helping youth find jobs is an urgent task
雇用対策 若者の就労支援が緊急課題だ(8月25日付・読売社説)

The upcoming House of Representatives election will be held amid growing concern over employment. Though individual parties have proposed measures to tackle the employment crisis, none offers a quick fix.

Voters should carefully consider what effect particular policies will have on their workplace.

The government and the ruling parties have taken emergency countermeasures for employment-related problems in the fiscal 2009 supplementary budget and through other means. The Liberal Democratic Party is quite right to tout these policies in its manifesto for the lower house election. They include drastic expansion of job-training programs and an emergency employment project under which local governments would create jobs with grants from the central government.

The nation's unemployment rate stands at 5.4 percent. There is growing speculation that it is only a matter of time before the rate tops the current post-World War II record high of 5.5 percent. Will it be possible to put the brakes on this worsening trend? The effectiveness of the job-creation measures will be tested against such circumstances.


DPJ wooly on dispatch issue

Three opposition parties--the Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party--have pledged to strengthen measures to boost employment in a common policy pledge. The measures include setting up a system to help those seeking jobs and banning, in principle, the dispatch of temporary workers in the manufacturing sector and to daily-paid jobs.

The system to assist job-seekers is meant to provide financial assistance to nonregular workers and others who are not covered by unemployment insurance while they are participating in job-training programs. The government and ruling parties have already introduced a similar system in the supplementary budget for fiscal 2009.

While the system established by the government and the ruling parties is a temporary measure that will expire in three years, the opposition parties propose a permanent system. However, the government and the ruling bloc plan to examine the advisability of extending the system after studying its effects and the employment situation. In this regard, there is no major difference between the two systems.

As for the dispatch of temp workers in the manufacturing sector, the DPJ proposes to set up a system for jobs requiring specialized skills and knowledge, and allow those engaged in jobs that fall into this category to be employed as dispatch workers. But the party has failed to spell out the details of the system it envisages.

Moreover, what will happen to the nearly 500,000 people who are currently dispatched as temp staff in the manufacturing industry? We suspect they will end up shifting to other unstable positions, such as subcontractor jobs, in which people are hired by one company to work at another firm. It will be impossible for us to judge how effective the proposed system will be unless the party provides a clear picture of how it plans to secure employment in the manufacturing sector.


Future in hands of young

The LDP also takes the position of banning the dispatch of workers to daily-paid jobs, in principle. However, there is a demand for short-term jobs from both employees and workers. We believe what needs to be done first is to set up a simple, smooth system for introducing work to job seekers, instead of relying on temporary staffing service firms.

The government must also make efforts to widen a system to hire dispatch workers as regular employees in cooperation with the business sector. At the same time, it needs to take into account the danger that simply regulating a flexible working style may leave people out of a job.

As society is steadily graying while the birthrate is declining, the number of unemployed and nonregular workers is increasing among young people, who are expected to play central roles in society in the future.

How can we nurture young people who are motivated to work and support them? This is an urgent problem for us to tackle, regardless of which party or parties takes the reins of government.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 25, 2009)
(2009年8月25日01時26分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2009-08-25 08:53 | 英字新聞

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