On February 5th, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) announced to launch a program, “JR East Technical Intern Training,” from April 1st, 2019 to train international technicians, the majority most likely to be primarily from Asian countries.
The company has already accepted the first group of interns, 11 Vietnamese, and will provide training for them to maintain train cars. The project is a collaboration between JR East and JR East Rail Car Technology & Maintenance Co., LTD.
The 11 intern members consist of 5 current employees of Vietnam Railways and 6 graduates from KAIZEN Yoshida School, a Japanese language school in Ho Chi Minh City. The training, which utilizes a technical internship program, is intended to last for 3 years, and the main task for the interns will be the maintenance of air conditioning in train cars.
The interns will sign an employment contract with JR East and will receive compensations and benefits equal to what other full time employees receive. After taking courses in Japanese language and culture at a specialized agency, they will start the practicum in May. The opening ceremony for the project will take place at the Railway Museum in Saitama City on April 1st.
Vietnam Railways has been dispatching their young executive candidate employees through JR East Fellowship Training since 1995. This training program is facilitated by the JR East-established East Japan Railway Culture Foundation.
ESUHAI Co. Ltd., the agency that dispatches the interns, is a career education agency which since 2006 has been specializing in career training for people wishing to work for Japanese companies. The agency operates KAIZEN Yoshida School that educates young Vietnamese for about a year in Japanese language, the ways of working, and the work culture in Japan.
Japan Vietnam Economic Forum, supervising the internship program, is a non-profit general incorporated association founded by financial experts and intellects with the purpose of promoting education and employment of talented professionals. The program also hopes to set up a bilateral cultural exchange between Japan and Vietnam. The forum officially obtained permission to be a supervisor of internship programs in July 2018, and this is the first task it is taking on.
JR East has been accepting interns from other countries’ railway companies through The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It’s hoped that there will be positive effects on the cultural development of these countries as a result of professionals acquiring new skills and knowledge within the same industry, but across national borders.