JILPT Research Report No.163
Survey Research on the Job Seeker Support System:
Survey and analysis of vocational training institutions

May 30, 2014


Research Objective

The Job Seeker Support Act, which came into effect in October 2011, provides for a support system for job seekers. The system was to be reviewed after three years, in line with the state of implementation (Job Seeker Support Act, Supplementary Provisions Article 13 (1)). In preparation for the review, we made both questionnaire and interview survey targeting vocational training institutions, which play a central role in the training of and the job placement support for job seekers, in order to ascertain the current situation of (1) their management of the training process and (2) job placement support activity.  Then, we attempt an analysis based on the survey results.

Research Method

  1. Aggregation and analysis of the results of a questionnaire survey aimed at private establishments undertaking jobseeker support training (simply referred to as "institutions" below). (Survey conducted in November 2012, aimed at all institutions undertaking jobseeker support training with a completion date between April and September 2012. Valid responses 1,376 [valid response rate: 53.7%]).
  2. An interview survey aimed at 17 institutions (conducted between November 2012 and March 2013).

Major Findings

  1. Jobseeker support training consists of two types of courses: a "Basic Course" for learning basic skills common to many kinds of job and a "Practical Course" for learning the practical skills required for specific jobs. When asked about the state of training in each of these courses, 60-70% of institutions implementing each course expressed the view that "Trainees have a high evaluation of the training content". However, around 60-70% of institutions are also aware of problems in that "The cost and manpower needed to implement training are very burdensome for businesses" and "There is a strong need for detailed counseling of trainees, such as guidance on life in general, as well as training and job placement support".
  2. On the frequency of career counseling during jobseeker support training, 73.8% of institutions responded that “3 times” per trainee was the most common case. Concerning the frequency of guidance on writing résumés and completing entry sheets during the training period, 55.3% of institutions responded “3-5 times” per trainee. On interview guidance, it was “3-5 times” per trainee by 46.6% of institutions, and “1-2 times” per trainee by 44.9%. As to what kind of efforts is made to support job placements for trainees, about 90% of institutions answered “Guidance on attitudes to entering employment and working”, and with almost the same ratio answering “Gathering and providing detailed information on prospective employers” (Figure).

Figure : Efforts to support job placements for trainees (multiple response, unit: %)

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  1. Job placement performance in the Basic Course was good in institutions that undertook certain efforts in terms of the developments of systems for career counseling and job placement support within institutions. Namely, these are institutions in which (1) career consultants are encouraged to take part in training and acquire qualifications, thus raising their levels of expertise, (2) information is exchanged through frequent collaboration between career consultants and instructors, (3) essential counseling are carried out by the staff responsible for job placement support, and (4) systems making it easy to get advice on finding employment have been developed. Also, factors contributing to increased rates of job placement included accurately providing local and sector-specific labor market information to trainees, undertaking workplace tours, giving frequent guidance on interviews, and inviting trainees to participate in joint briefing sessions held outside institutions.
  2. Some efforts and situations of institutions help to improve job placement in the Practical Course. These are (1) encouraging career consultants to take part in training and acquire qualifications in order to raise their levels of expertise, (2) career counseling undertaken at regular intervals during training, i.e. at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, (3) the training instructor also giving advice in person for job placement each time needed, and (4) staff other than career consultants being cooperative towards job placement support.

Other efforts also help to improve job placement results in the Practical Course. These include appointment of staff in charge of employment opportunities development, inviting trainees to participate in joint briefing sessions held outside institutions, giving explanations and providing information on local and sector-specific labor markets, and frequently giving guidance on writing résumés or entry sheets and on interviews.

Policy Implications

  1. Our analysis of the institutional efforts that affect the results of job placement by trainees suggests that raising the skills of career consultants contributes to an improvement in the final job placement situation. In many vocational training institutions, support and advice is carried out by registered career consultants, but training period for them is short. Therefore, an improvement in training opportunities to supplement this is required.
  2. Also, on the basis of our analysis of the results of job placement by trainees, it is thought that giving explanations and providing information on local and sector-specific labor markets to trainees helps to improve the job placement situation. Institutions should be more aware of the importance of providing such information on labor markets, and should be encouraged to provide it. “Hello Work” (public employment security offices) and Labour Bureaus should also provide appropriate information as required based on an understanding of the training situation of each institution.

Policy Contribution

The results of these surveys and analyses have been used as basic data in deliberations by the Capacity Development Subcommittee of the Labour Policy Council, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and have been incorporated in a report on future directions for the Jobseeker Support System (announced by the Capacity Development Subcommittee on December 27, 2013).


  1. Cover – Preface – Authors – Contents
  2. Part I  Summary of the survey Research
  3. Part II  Result of the questionnaire survey for institutions
  4. Part III  Analysis of the questionnaire survey Part
  5. Part IV  Efforts and issues in institutions –Case study survey record –
  6. Part V  Reference materials

Research Categories

Project Research “Research on vocational capability development system in response to economic and social changes”

Subtheme "Survey Research on directions for capacity development measures"

Research Period



Vice Senior Researcher, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training
Senior Fellow, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training
Research Director, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training
Research Assistant, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training
Research Assistant, Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training

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