JILPT Research Report No.153
Effects and Problems of Employment Type Training in the Job Card System:
From a job-seekers follow-up survey and an interview survey with participating companies

March 25, 2013


Research Objective

To highlight employment type training undertaken within the Job-Card System, and to study its effects and problems via fact-finding surveys of participating job-seekers as well as companies that have provided training opportunities.

Research Method

  • Questionnaire survey

A “Survey on Career Change” (Panel Surveys: 1st wave (conducted in September-November 2010) to 5th wave (March 2012)) was aimed at participants in employment type training under the system (the basic form of fixed-term OJT) and non-participating job-seekers. The 1st Survey was designed to add all those who had received career consultation at “Hello Work” (Public Employment Security Offices) across Japan. Of 31,565 questionnaires distributed, 10,292 were collected (collection rate 32.6%). The collected questionnaires were compiled into a survey participant list, and the remaining surveys until the 5th were conducted by mail. For the 5th Survey, 6,111 questionnaires were mailed, of which 5,605 were returned (collection rate 91.7%).

  Survey period Number distributed Number collected Collection rate
1st Sept.-Nov. 2010 31,565 10,292 32.6%
2nd March 2011 10,213 7,723 75.6%
3rd June 2011 7,723 6,798 88.0%
4th Sept. 2011 6,798 6,111 89.9%
5th March 2012 6,111 5,605 91.7%
  • Interview survey

An interview survey of companies offering employment-based training. A follow-up survey of 17 companies that had agreed to the initial survey (the initial survey had been conducted in May-October 2010, through introductions from regional job card (support) centers where employment-based training is particularly common). Responses were received from 16 companies. In addition, an interview survey was held with four regional job card centers (= Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

  • Research meetings

Major Findings

  1. Follow-up surveys of job-seekers confirmed that participants in employment type training are more likely to find employment than non-participants in public training. They are also more likely to be employed as regular employees. As such, employment type training is thought to serve as a gateway to employment. Their probability of finding employment and being employed as regular employees is also higher than participants in Japanese style Dual System and other public training. Thus, the system of receiving practical training while being employed by a company is thought to have certain effects.
  2. In terms of wages, the monthly income of participants in employment-based training was significantly higher, statistically, than that of people in other categories (non-participants in training, participants in other publicly-funded training, and participants in commissioned training-based dual systems) at the time of the 2nd wave of the survey. From the 3rd wave onwards, however, no statistically significant difference was observed. As such, there is thought to be room for improvement in terms of the quantity or quality of employment-based training.
  3. Of the various aspects of job satisfaction, participants in employment type training had a statistically significantly higher satisfaction with career prospects than other comparative groups. Moreover, this effect remained even after some time had passed.

Table 1 Marginal effects of receiving employment type training (as of the 5th wave "Survey on Career Change")

Image, Table1

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Note 1: Employment, Employment as regular employee and job satisfaction are reported using the results of estimation by probit analysis, while monthly income is reported using those of OLS analysis. Only the figures for statistically significant results in employment, employment as regular employee, monthly income and job satisfaction of participants in employment type training are shown, as compared to other groups. A positive figure signifies a positive effect, a negative figure a negative effect.

Note 2: Other public training is training other than employment type training supported by public funding.

  1. Based on the company interview survey, half of the companies engaged in employment type training were continuing to use the system, excluding those that had no demand for new hiring, etc. One reason for discontinuing the system was a reduction in grants. In many cases, however, this resulted from a feeling that the system was not "cost-effective", given a decrease in subsidy ratios combined with a perception of problems in the operation of the system. On the other hand, grants (or grant amounts) played a major part in encouraging more companies to introduce the system.
  2. As for the effects of employment type training, (1) it was felt by some to resolve problems in hiring and new employee training (e.g. only ‘industry-ready’ staff can be hired, no time to educate new staff, etc.), making it possible to hire and train more effectively, and (2) other knock-on effects were seen. For example, once they are hired, trainees are quicker to enhance their job performance and skills; this provided a stimulus to other employees, whose awareness and job performance improved; and systematic systems for human resource development were adopted internally, inspired by the introduction of the system. Even in companies that stopped using the system, the rationale behind the system tended to become established as a system of human resource development.
  3. Problems highlighted in the operation of the system included (1) the size of the administrative burden, and difficulty in using the system due to inflexible training schedules, etc., (2) checks on the training are merely a formality aimed at proper payment of grants, and (3) there are problems with publicity, as the system tends to be perceived in the same light as trial employment and other employment measures.

Table 2 Effects of using employment type training in the Job-Card System

1 Inherent effects of the system – Effects in resolving companies´ problems (hiring, new employee training)
(1) Effects in hiring
(2) Changes in new employee training methods and resultant effects
2 Long-term or knock-on effects – System effects beyond initial problem solving
(1) Training effect on subsequent job performance and skill enhancement by trainees
(2) Effect on awareness and job performance of other employees
(3) Evolution into internal human resource development systems

Policy Implications

  • Firstly, it was recognized that basic types of training have the effect of linking job-seekers to employment. It would be desirable to continue expanding employment-based training in future. It was also suggested, however, that the employment does not always lead to long-term stability. For this reason, we will need to conduct the similar surveys on situations after training in the future. In addition, will have to check whether there are problems in matching, the length of training, and so on.
  • Secondly, it was pointed out that the system felt burdensome for companies, e.g. in terms of complex administrative work or rigid schedule management. There was also dissatisfaction in the fact that checks are focused more on whether the project is being implemented according to plan than on the training outcome. Since this training is often carried out by smaller companies, this sense of burden and dissatisfaction is thought to be all the more significant. To reduce the burden on companies, it may be necessary to have experts in job training who can assist in preparing training plans and administrative work, and even measure the training outcome as a third party in some cases. We need to consider developing and deploying human resources who can act as this kind of "training consultant".
  • Thirdly, this system should be valued in that it essentially functions as a scheme for providing initial job training in small and medium enterprises, and moreover has provided a stimulus for human resource development systems to become more widely rooted in companies. Emphasis should be placed on the fact that it is cited as one of the targets of systems supporting human resource development in small and medium enterprises, and also, in publicity designed to make the system more widespread, on its characteristics as a system of vocational training. A PR strategy of distinguishing the system from trial employment and other policies would be desirable.


  1. Cover – Preface – Authors – Contents
  2. Chapter 1 Outline
  3. Chapter 2 Effect of employment-based training on job-seekers
  4. Chapter 3 Use of employment-based training and human resource development in companies: From follow-up interview surveys with participating companies
  5. Appendix 1 (Company interview survey)
  6. Appendix 2 (Job-seekers follow-up survey: "Survey on Career Change")

Research Categories

Project Research "Research on Vocational Capability Development System in Response to Economic and Social Changes"

Subtheme "Survey Research on directions for capability development measures"

Research Period

FY2012 (Surveys conducted FY2010-2012)


Research Director, The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT)
Hiromi HARA
Associate Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences and Design, Japan Women’s University (formerly Vice Senior Researcher, JILPT)
Project Researcher, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Associate Professor, College of Economics, Ritsumeikan University
Assistant, College of Economics, Aoyama Gakuin University (formerly Research Assistant, JILPT)
Tomohiro TAKAMI
Research Assistant, JILPT
Research Assistant, JILPT
Research Assistant, JILPT

Related Information

  • JILPT Research Report > No.153 Effects and Problems of Employment Type Training in the Job Card System