ILO_Japan_Friends’s diary

ILO Japan Friends’ diary

国際労働機関(ILO)駐日事務所・インターンによるブログです。

MENU

Intern report (4/4): Youth and the World of Work in the COVID19-From Perspective of Former ILO Tokyo Office Interns

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201202225213p:plain

===============

Inspired by the ILO survey on the impact on young people, this paper reports the findings from three roundtable discussions with a total of eight former/current ILO Tokyo Office interns (20s-30s) conducted in June 2020. Listening to the real voices of each individual, this paper identifies the impacts of the pandemic experienced by ILO interns as well as the elements influencing young people's careers even before the outbreak in Japan. Besides, some ideas are noted to overcome the existing issues with a hope to suggest what “the future of work” might be from young people’s perspective.

 

Please check out previous posts at the following links.

Intern report (1/4)

Intern report (2/4)

Intern report (3/4)

=============== 

4.    Persisting problems since before the pandemic (Continued)   

4.3 Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates

During the roundtable discussion, Participant J, who was looking for a job as a new graduate, shared her experience of feeling anxious about the difficulty of finding a foothold in the future if she missed the employment period for new graduates. Although it is an individual concern, it arises due to the unique nature of career development in Japan, especially in the job-hunting process, and can be said to be a concern that many new graduates have.

 

In Japan, companies generally conduct a recruitment test within a limited period of time (mainly conducted in springtime), recruit students who are about to graduate simultaneously and at once, and new graduates start work immediately after graduation. This system is commonly referred to as " Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates."[1]

 

Historically, the Japanese employment environment has been characterized by lifetime employment, and the system of training in the company to prepare inexperienced and unskilled workers for their jobs has matured. From the perspective of investment in education and the payback period, it is a rational decision for companies to make the longest possible employment contracts with employees who can continue to work for as long as possible. New graduates will inevitably be the targets of such contracts.

 

When companies hire new graduates, they don't ask for much experience or skills, so students have the advantage of being able to join a large company because of the potential for future growth. It also allows companies to secure the best talent faster and reduces the time and cost of hiring. According to a survey by the Cabinet Office on hiring practices, companies use new graduate hiring for a number of reasons, such as "securing a certain number of new graduates on a regular basis" and "securing fresh personnel who are not familiar with the customs of other companies.” [2] It is clear that companies see this system as a benefit in terms of having a regular supply of easy to train people.

 

On the one hand, this system is often a source of concern for new graduate job hunters. They suffer from the pressure of not being able to fail because they will be out of the new graduate quota after graduation. They also have to apply to a large number of companies in a short period to obtain job offers in a limited amount of time, which can be physically and mentally difficult and affect their studies. According to a survey of new graduates conducted by a company that provides career support services to students, the top concern before job hunting is whether or not they will be able to find a job, and "overcrowded schedules" and "burden of entry sheets" are top concerns as the actual difficulties of job hunting [3]. Another thing is that "job hunting expenses" is the top factor. According to the survey, job-hunting expenses for new graduates averaged 161,312 yen (Approx. $1,600) nationwide, with transportation and accommodation expenses being a particularly large burden. In addition, there is a difference of approximately 50,000 yen between the Kanto and regional averages[4]. Combined with the problem of Tokyo's concentration of information, education, and job opportunities themselves being concentrated in urban areas, this creates a disparity among job hunters and places a greater burden on new graduates looking for work outside urban areas.

 

With companies now focusing their recruitment activities on new graduates, old graduates often face difficulty in finding jobs. According to a survey by MHLW, 43% of the establishments in all industries surveyed said that graduates were able to apply for full-time positions for new graduates’ quota over the past year, and 47% of those were hired[5]. This survey shows that about half of the companies do not hire graduates, confirming the fact that employment opportunities are limited to old graduates.

 

While the "new graduate quota" is an opportunity for students, students may not have any criteria for deciding which companies to work for, and a mismatch with a company can lead to an early leaving from the job. According to MHLWs survey of Young People's Attitudes to Employment in the White Paper on Children and Youth, more than 30% of young people left their first job in less than three years, and 43.4% of young people cited "the job wasn't right for me" as the reason for leaving[6].

 

The internship is attracting a lot of attention as a way to prevent mismatches, but the Japanese internship system is positioned as a part of educational activities, not as a recruitment activity [7]. Therefore, it is not used as an opportunity to gain sufficient work experience. According to a survey conducted by a major HR services company, the most common elements of internship programs are non-usual tasks, workplace visits, and the opportunity to accompany an employee. Besides, the majority of companies set the internship period at one day only[8]. It is too short for one to understand the duties of the job. For this reason, the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) is calling on the government to stop using the term "one-day internship" because it does not constitute work experiences, and to add provisions to the internship program as recruitment activities.

 

It is difficult to judge the merits or demerits of simultaneous and bulk-hiring of new graduates, as it can be both an opportunity and a concern for students. However, as the practices of lifetime employment and the seniority system that has characterized the Japanese labour market are breaking down, calls for a review of the new graduate hiring rules are increasing. Besides, COVID-19 has coincided with the spring job-hunting season, which has greatly hindered job-hunting activities, leading some to voice growing scepticism about a system that concentrates hiring at a specific time of year. Keidanren has announced the abolition of its guidelines for recruitment and selection of graduates from the fiscal year 2021, putting an end to the simultaneous hiring of new graduates. According to a survey of job-hunting students' opinions regarding the abolition of the guidelines, 60% of students agreed with the abolition of the guidelines, and more than 60% of students surveyed thought that they would prefer a combination of simultaneous hiring and year-round recruitment, or year-round recruitment only[9]. It is clear that the students concerned are uncomfortable with the current recruitment system and want to see a change in the way they are employed.

 

There is no doubt that a new employment system is needed that takes into account students who do not want to miss out on the opportunity of being a "new graduate" and are troubled by it. For this reason, we need an environment and system that allows students to challenge job hunting more freely at various stages of their lives, without being limited to the time required to be a new graduate. Increasing the number of quotas for previous graduates, which are currently considered less favourable for employment than for new graduates, could be one way to ensure that job-hunting activities are not tied to the new graduate quota. Besides, decentralizing the recruitment schedule and adopting year-round hiring can reduce the burden on students. At present, only about 25% of companies employ new graduate throughout the year can expect to see more companies adopt year-round recruitment in the future[10]. There is a concern that year-round recruitment will prolong the job-hunting process and increase the burden of job hunting costs, but companies, the government, and civic groups may be able to find ways to support this process to reduce the burden of students. Holding online job-hunting events, abolishing the requirement to wear a recruiting suit, and the operation of guesthouses for job hunters by government, municipalities, student groups, and civic organizations could be ways to reduce job-hunting costs. Furthermore, proactively hiring interns for jobs could be one way to prevent a mismatch, and at the same time, it could be a new recruitment method that replaces bulk hiring for new graduates.

 

It is not easy to switch to a different system right away because we are still in a transitional stage of discussing the pros and cons of simultaneous recruitment. However, a discussion that incorporates perspectives such as "what is the most desirable system for students" and "how can the burden be minimized" may lead to the adoption of a new recruitment system that further expands the potential of students' activities than the current bulk recruitment of new graduates.

 

4.4 Stereotypes in career development

4.4.1 Taking time out from work

One of the opinions shared at the roundtable on career perspectives was that certain stereotypes may be influencing career development. Certain stereotypes and assumptions are already considered good in career perspectives that influence or challenge various career choices. In this context, many roundtable participants shared their perceptions of blanks in employment (period of unemployment) in their job history. We were able to confirm that many people are concerned about the blanks that are created as they shape their careers and feel uneasy about not being part of an organization/ institution/ company.

 

This perception is likely to be influenced by the characteristics of the Japanese labour market. In Japan, a period of separation from work tends to be perceived negatively as an interruption of a career. It is generally considered a good idea to have a linear career, entering the company immediately after graduating from college and continuing to work until retirement without interruption. Therefore, in a practice that considers a career without any blank to be a good thing, returning to work or re-entering the workforce after leaving the company can be a disadvantage.

 

Regarding the most favourable separation period from work, a job search website advised it to be from 3 months to 6 months. It emphasizes that it is better not to have blanks as much as possible, as the blanks are detrimental to find jobs[11]. In this way, the job market generally considers a non-disadvantageous blank period of about three months, and many people who change jobs move to their next job within a short period. According to MHLW's survey on people changing jobs, 29.4% of respondents said they had been out of work for less than one month, 24.6% said they had not been out of work for a while, and 12.5% said they had been out of work for more than one month but less than two months[12]. This survey shows that more than half of the respondents are keeping their separation from work to three months or less. Workers are concerned that a prolonged period to be away from the workplace will disadvantage them when they return to work or re-enter the workforce. It causes workers to fear taking a timeout from their careers, as they are reluctant to take a leave of absence or leave their jobs, or hesitate about even taking an extended leave of absence.

This anxiety is especially crucial for women. Many have to leave their jobs due to marriage, childbirth, and childcare, and many of them are worried about returning to work or re-entering the workforce. A survey by a Japanese human resource service company on women with career gaps reveals that many women leave their jobs or take a leave of absence due to childcare and childbirth[13]. In addition, a survey by the Cabinet Office indicates that the percentage of women who leave their jobs to have their first child is still high at 46.9%[14]. As such, women often leave a job, especially for childbirth and childcare, but it is not easy to re-enter the job. A survey by MHLW on the re-employment situation of women who left their jobs to have or raise children shows that around 80% of them had concerns before finding a new job, and many of them were concerned about whether they could balance their work with childbirth or whether they could keep up with their work[15]. In addition, many respondents cited "I can't find a job that meets my requirements" and "I get turned down if I don't have family support because I have small children" as difficulties in finding a new job[16].

 

Job selection criteria for re-entry into the workforce tends to focus on job content, job satisfaction, employment status, and salary level, while at the same time seeking flexible work arrangements and family considerations. However, jobs that require good judgment and responsibility often call for full-time or overtime work, and it takes a lot of work to get hired after considering the various requirements. During the roundtable discussion, participants shared that they felt that marriage and pregnancy reduced the range of companies they could apply to and that they felt disadvantaged in their job search. It is clear that the situation of career interruption, which is generally seen as a negative, has affected women more significantly.

 

Women and job changes are not the only ones who are concerned about the gap in their careers. Participant J, who participated in the roundtable, is concerned about the career gap if she failed to find a job as a new graduate, and Participant C shared her experience that her time in graduate school was viewed as "blank" during her job search. Worries about gaps or blanks exist at various stages of career development.

 

It will take a long time to change the way the labour market views the blanks. However, we can change the way the blanks are considered in the workplace. Especially, improvement to support women is possible. Companies that try to foster a corporate culture that views separation for childbirth and childcare as a positive, rather than a career disruption, are sometimes held up as good examples, but they need to be addressed by more companies. Besides, to allay workers' fears about blanks, HR evaluations should incorporate a balance of hours worked and performance evaluations to ensure that shortened work hours after a leave of absence or return to work are not reflected in an excessively negative. Also, it is important to meet the supervisor and human resources personnel before and after they leave and return to work to ensure that you can take a leave of absence without worry. However, the system should not be one that benefits only the employees taking leave, so it is important to create a culture and system that does not make all employees feel unfair.

 

As work styles and career development are more diverse following the increase of average life expectancy and the length of employment, considering the blanks negatively in job history can be a barrier for individuals and society to achieve diversity. It is relevant not to consider leaving a job to be an interruption of a career. Moreover, creating an environment that various experiences and challenges are encouraged is necessary.

 

4.4.2 Training as generalists

The question of whether to become a generalist or a specialist has a significant impact on one's view of work and career development. Participant F shared her thoughts on the general trends in the Japanese labour market regarding the issue of specialists and generalists. Japanese companies are looking for and developing generalists rather than specialists, and this tendency to place a premium on generalists can affect an individual's career choices as well.

 

In the past, Japanese companies have focused on "internal labour market-based human resource management", in which new graduates are hired as generalists and then internally trained and promoted through transfer and reassignment[17]. And it can be said that this trend is still going on. According to a survey by the MHLW on "Human Resource Development in Response to Diversified Ways of Working," companies that place importance on generalist/internal human resource development accounted for 39.8% of all companies of all sizes and in all industries, making up the highest proportion. This is followed by 33.2% for companies emphasizing the development of specialists and internal personnel, 15.9% for companies emphasizing the hiring of specialists and external personnel, and 11.0% for companies emphasizing the hiring of generalists and external personnel[18].

 

A tendency for Japanese companies to place a high value on generalists can be glimpsed in the human resources development system known as "job rotation" (periodic personnel changes). According to a survey on corporate transfers conducted by the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training, 53.1% of companies responded that they had experienced job rotations, and when viewed by the size of full-time employees, the percentage was higher as the size of the company increased[19]. With regard to the frequency of job rotation, 27.9% of companies responded that job rotations were for three years, followed by 18.8% for five years.

 

Job rotation, which allows employees to move around and gain experience in a variety of tasks, is an excellent way to develop generalists with a cross-sectional view of the company's business. This system is said to be beneficial for employees in charting their career path. By experiencing several different types of jobs, employees can understand their aptitudes, and it is easier for them to clarify their intentions and career development direction. Besides, by experiencing multiple departments and operations, you will be able to acquire multiple and highly applicable skills by gaining different perspectives.

 

On the other hand, transfers with ambiguous objectives can reduce the individual's freedom to build a career, as motivation to work is reduced and a high frequency of movement makes it more difficult to develop expertise. For example, the job listings for mid-career hires often say "3+ years of experience" and a couple of years for one field can be seen as insufficient experience. Participant F shared her friends' experience who had been working at a general trading company or a major manufacturer for five or six years and said, "They want to change jobs, but they have only acquired knowledge and skills that are not applicable outside the company." While job rotation is useful as a generalist development system, one of the disadvantages is that in the job market, employees are often considered as "in-house specialists" rather than generalists.

 

During the era of lifetime employment and the seniority system, many young people did not change jobs, but instead worked at a single company to improve their skills as a career-track employee and then became a generalist in a managerial position. However, with the end of lifetime employment, there is a growing tendency for those who are considering changing careers to believe that they need to acquire skills that can be used at other companies rather than a generalist career path. Also, with the evolution of digital technologies such as AI and data science, the demand for more advanced skills and abilities is increasing, and more and more young people are looking to acquire specialized knowledge. A survey of the attitudes of new employees conducted by the Japan Management Association showed that more than 60% of them want to become specialists, and this number is increasing every year. The survey also revealed that more young people want to work in a "merit-based and performance-oriented workplace where individuals are evaluated and treated regardless of age and experience," and that they are highly motivated to learn the skills and abilities necessary for their jobs. Additionally, nearly 90% of respondents believe that individuals are responsible for acquiring skills and abilities[20].

 

It's not just the workers' side that is experiencing changes in their views of the profession. With the growing importance of embedding innovations such as global economic activity and artificial intelligence as a competitive advantage, companies are pointing to possible changes in their human resource management policies as well[21]. According to a survey by the MHLW, when asked whether they thought the importance of generalists or specialists would increase in the future, many of the companies that emphasize the development of generalists and internal human resources said the focus on generalists would continue. However, we found that a higher percentage of companies that emphasize innovation activities say that specialists are becoming more important[22]. Necessary skills vary depending on the company's strategy. Still, it may be an indication of the need for a change in the way people are managed, which has traditionally been focused on training generalists.

Accordingly, companies need to focus not only on generalists but also specialists in their human resources management, through identifying the development of working attitude and the ideal human personnel. More young people are working to improve their skills and abilities because of the unstable employment caused by COVID-19. Also, it is increasingly important to provide solid support for their growth and development. Since the human resource management of a company has a significant impact on individuals' career development, it is necessary to support the advancement of employees by mutual communication to ensure that the company's policy and their career development goals are aligned. Further, it will be necessary to pay close attention to how training and development will be changed or maintained in line with changes in society, including the impact of COVID-19, and how it will affect the career development of individuals.

 

4.5 Lifelong Learning

With 100-year life, there is an increasing attention to lifelong learning including professional skills[23]. Although the purposes of learning are diverse, according to the Basic Survey of Skills Development by MHLW in 2019, many people have undertaken self-education[24] in order to acquire the knowledge necessary for their jobs. Future career advancement is also a reason for learning. According to the "White Paper on Children and Youth" by the Cabinet Office, 53.2% of the respondents, the highest percentage, answered that they would like to continue learning if conditions were right in order to find a better job[25].

 

Participants in the roundtable also expressed the hope that there will be more opportunities in the future to move back and forth between the labour market and learning opportunities. However, there are different challenges. For example, Participant S was concerned about time and money issues. In a job where people are working long hours, not only do they not have time to learn, but it may be difficult to spare time to think about learning in the first place. Also, the financial burden of learning can be too heavy.

 

These issues have been clarified in actual surveys. In the Basic Survey on Human Resource Development conducted by MHLW in 2019, the reasons given for problems in conducting self-education were "too busy" and "too much cost"[26]. The survey also exposed the issue of gender equality in work-life balance. Looking at the results of the survey for full-time employees only, the next most common response was "too busy with housework and childcare to have time for self-development". For women who are required to spend time doing unpaid work, this means that time is taken up not only at work but also at home. In addition, companies are not actively supporting their employees' self-improvement programs. According to the JILPT survey, 30% of the 2,809 companies surveyed implemented self-improvement programs as a benefit for full-time employees, while 30% of the companies thought that employees should make an effort to help themselves[27]. Considering that self-improvement outside the company is often expensive, for example, the cost of taking certification exams, textbooks, and attending external seminars, financial support may also be effective in promoting self-improvement and learning among young workers.

 

For individuals to receive financial and time support from companies, it is important that what they learned through personal development is returned to contribute to the workplace. However, it is also necessary to prepare places and positions where they can return their learning to their companies. It is important that not only subjects that are directly related to the work, but also a wide range of learning are valued, and that the evaluation system and work environment reflect this so that individuals are motivated to engage in various fields. In this way, an effort to connect the improvement of workers' skills and the benefit of the company could create an environment that enables individuals to develop themselves.

 

Also, more efforts are necessary to increase places where people can obtain learning. For example, the "White Paper on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology" by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology ("MEXT") in 2018 points out the lack of practical programs for working adults to study at universities and other institutions. To address this issue, the MEXT has established the Program for Fostering Practical Vocational Skills and is working to improve the environment for working people to learn[28]. Recently, due to the effects of the pandemic, the edX, Coursera, JMOOC, Udemy and other services that provide free or low-cost access to courses from a variety of higher education institutions around the world are expanding their contents. In September 2020, the ILO also released a new e-learning program, "Multinational Company Declaration (Introduction)," in Japanese, to help workers learn about the Declaration of Multinational Enterprises to achieve responsible business practices[29]. In this way, we need to expand the tools for learning and create an environment where it is easy for individuals to move between learning and working.

5.    Closing remarks

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the way young people work, as noted by ILO's monitoring and a new report. However, as we heard the real voices of young people, it was highlighted that the problems that existed from the outset were more of groundwork, rather than a problem caused by the pandemic alone, and impacted the careers of young people. Through this round table project, we attempted to identify the effects of COVID-19 and to re-identify the initial problems in the careers of young people. Through this process, it is observable that young people in Japan tend to design their careers and lives and want the results of their choices to be accepted by society. Besides, more and more people recognize that harassment, long working hours, and other problems that have been ignored as "unavoidable" in the past, but are now recognized as a "problem."

 

Of course, the issues discussed in this article, such as working styles, harassment, simultaneous recruiting of new graduates, stereotypes about career development, and lifelong learning, are not limited to those discussed in Chapter 4. Although we have focused on young people in this paper, various issues related to the way we work exist across generations. It is not easy to improve these issues. Nevertheless, we hope that this project has provided some hints for a better future of work after the COVID-19 disaster. (The main points of the ideas I presented in Chapter 4 are summarized below.)

Thank you for reading!

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201201002406p:plain

 

================================

[1] MHLW (2018), Labour Economic Trends Survey, p.11

According to the survey, 62% of the surveyed industries responded that they recruited new graduates as full-time employees during the past year (August 2017 to July 2018). In terms of the timing of recruitment, the largest percentage of the surveyed industries responded that they recruited in spring (69%), followed by "at any time of the year" (22%) and "in spring and autumn" (6%).

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/itiran/roudou/koyou/keizai/1808/dl/roudoukeizaidouko.pdf ...

[2] Cabinet Office (2006) "Survey on Corporate Recruitment" https://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/9990748/www5.cao.go.jp/seikatsu/whitepaper/h18/10_pdf/01_honpen /pdf/06ksha-servay.pdf

[3] Supporters (2019) "Job Hunting Reality Survey 2019

https://corp.supporterz.jp/news/2019/student_survey

[4] Kanto average 127,664 yen, regional average 182,633 yen

[5]MHLW (2018), Labour Economic Trends Survey, p.11 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/itiran/roudou/koyou/keizai/1808/dl/roudoukeizaidouko.pdf

[6]MHLW (2018), "White Paper on Children and Young People, Special Report on Young People's Attitudes towards Employment and Other Issues", https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/s0_0.html?_fsi=KGGGf9qO

[7] Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, "Basic Approach to Promoting Internships" https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/sangaku2/1346604.htm

[8] Recruit Employment Mirai Institute (2019), Employment White Paper 2019, p.16 https://data.recruitcareer.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/hakusyo2019_01-56_0507up.pdf

[9] Pasona Research Institute (2019), Student Awareness Survey on Job Hunting Activities and What Students Look for in Companies and Universities

https://www.pasonagroup.co.jp/news/index112.html?itemid=3318&dispmid=798%E3%80%80 ...

[10] Recruit Employment Mirai Research Institute (2020) "Employment White Paper 2020

https://data.recruitcareer.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/hakusyo2020_01-48_up-1.pdf

[11] For example, doda, "How many months of separation is allowed? (https://doda.jp/guide/5min/010.html), Career Change Good, "What's the average length of time away from work (blank) and does it affect hiring after 6 months? (http://jobgood.jp/8183), and Mynavi Agent, "Guidelines for the length of the job search and the key to early settlement" (https://mynavi-agent.jp/knowhow/period/).

[12]MHLW (2015), "2015 Survey of Persons Changing Jobs,

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/6-18c-h27.html

[13]Adecco Group (2016), "Survey of Women's Attitudes towards Re-employment and Return to Work" https://www.adeccogroup.jp/pressroom/2016/1222

[14] Cabinet Office (2018) 'Continuous Employment Rate of Women Before and After the Birth of the First Child' and 'Childbirth, Childcare and Women's Employment Status' http://wwwa.cao.go.jp/wlb/government/top/hyouka/k_45/pdf/s1.pdf

[15] MHLW (2015), "Survey study on re-employment of women who left their jobs due to childbirth and childcare," p.26 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/koyoukintou/dl/h26-02_itakuchousa00.pdf

[16] Ibid, p. 35.

[17] MHLW (2018), "Analysis of the Labour Economy in 2018 - Human Resource Development in Response to Diversified Working Styles", p.109 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf

[18] Ibid, p. 111.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf ...

[19] Labour Policy Research and Training Institute (2017), "Survey Series No. 174, 'Survey on the Actual Status of Corporate Transfers'," p. 7

https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2017/documents/174.pdf ...

[20] Japan Management Association (2019) "New Employee Opinion Survey Report

https://www.jma.or.jp/img/pdf-report/new_employees_2019.pdf ...

[21] MHLW (2018), "Analysis of the Labour Economy in 2018 - Human Resource Development in Response to Diversified Working Styles", p.109 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf

[22] Ibid, p. 111.

[23] Recruit Management Solutions Institute for Organizational Behaviour 2030 Work Style Project (2013) "Opinion #6: "Individuals Shine in the Future" - Don't think too much, just keep challenging yourself. https://www.recruit-ms .co.uk/research/2030/opinion/detail6.html

[24] Self-education refers to activities that workers engage in to voluntarily develop and improve their vocational abilities in order to continue their vocational life (it does not include activities for hobbies, entertainment, sports and health promotion that are not related to their jobs). MHLW, "Basic Survey on Human Resource Development: Explanation of Terms" https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/104-23c.pdf

[25] Cabinet Office, "White Paper on Children and Young People, 2018 https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

[26] MHLW (2020) "Human Resource Development Basic Survey

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/104-01b.pdf

[27] Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (2020), "Survey Series No. 203 (Part I): A Survey of the Actual State of Benefits Policies in Companies" https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2020/documents/203_01.pdf

[28] https://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/html/hpab201901/1420047.htm

[29] ILO (2020), "The Declaration of Multinational Enterprises (Introduction)" e-learning program: https://www.ilo.org/tokyo/information/pr/WCMS_754779/lang--ja/index.htm

 

Intern report (3/4): Youth and the World of Work in the COVID19-From Perspective of Former ILO Tokyo Office Interns

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201202225213p:plain

===============

Inspired by the ILO survey on the impact on young people, this paper reports the findings from three roundtable discussions with a total of eight former/current ILO Tokyo Office interns (20s-30s) conducted in June 2020. Listening to the real voices of each individual, this paper identifies the impacts of the pandemic experienced by ILO interns as well as the elements influencing young people's careers even before the outbreak in Japan. Besides, some ideas are noted to overcome the existing issues with a hope to suggest what “the future of work” might be from young people’s perspective.

 

Please check out previous posts at the following links.

Intern report (1/4)

Intern report (2/4)

=============== 

4.    Persisting problems since before the pandemic    

 So far, we have seen the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on young people, including former/current ILO interns. However, when roundtable participants talked about their concerns to their future careers, they often referred to problems that had persisted since before the pandemic; the ILO's report suggests that young people were facing a tough labour market even before the pandemic [1]. Therefore, Chapter 4 focuses on the factors suggested in the episodes of the roundtable participants that had an impact on young people's careers even before the outbreak. We will use the data to identify what makes the issues problematic for young people. For each theme, we will also present our ideas for what we can do to build a "better normal" in the world of work.

4.1 Work Style

4.1.1 Centralization in Tokyo

Two of the roundtable participants, from the Kansai and Kyushu area (Western and Southern Japan), mentioned that their career opportunities were centralized in Tokyo. When participant S moved to Tokyo for her graduate school, she realized that there was a disparity in access to internship opportunities and other seminars between Kansai (Western Japan) and Tokyo. On the other hand, participant J, who wanted to live with her parent in Fukuoka, said she had to look for a job in Tokyo because most of her work opportunities are centralized in Tokyo. These episodes from the participants are examples of how the centralization in Tokyo affects the career development of the younger generation.

 

Centralization in Tokyo is a phenomenon in which population, politics, and economic and other functions are concentrated in Tokyo and surrounding three prefectures (Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba). According to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, as of 2015, 28.4% of the total population was concentrated in Tokyo and surrounding three prefectures, and this percentage is expected to increase in the future[2]. While the population is expected to decline in 46 prefectures in 2045, only Tokyo's population is expected to remain at the same level as in 2015 (100.7%)[3]. It indicates that the centralization of population in Tokyo has accelerated over the five years from 2010 to 2015.

 

One of the main reasons for the concentration of population in Tokyo is the influx of young people. According to the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the largest number of people aged 20-24 years old moved into the Tokyo metropolitan area (79,964) in 2019, followed by those aged 25-29 (28,084) and those aged 15-19 (24,485)[4]. This figure shows that, as the participants in the roundtable discussions, many young people move to Tokyo to enter universities or graduate schools, or to find a job.

 

This movement of the younger generation is related to the concentration of universities and companies in Tokyo. A quarter of the students enrolled in universities nationwide are studying in Tokyo, and more than 40% in Tokyo and surrounding three prefectures[5]. Moreover, the number of listed companies' headquarters in Tokyo is 1,823, which is more than half of the total in Japan. In terms of the ratio of the number of listed companies' headquarters to the national total, it increased by more than 5% in the Tokyo metropolitan area between 2004 and 2015 (conversely, it decreased by more than 5% in the Western area)[6]. It suggests that the influx of young people to Tokyo is related to the abundant options of universities and employers.

 

With such a high centralization of attractive academic and employment options and encounters with new people in Tokyo, the gap between rural and metropolitan areas is expected to continue to widen. However, the spread of COVID-19 has brought some positive changes. It has led seminars, internships, and classes going online, and some large companies start adopting teleworking as a new working style. Rather than viewing these moves as temporary measures, it is important to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the new ways of learning/teaching and working that were "experimented" with due to the pandemic so that we can make use of this experience to solve the problems that existed before the pandemic.

 

In addition to the disparity in opportunities between the Tokyo metropolitan area and rural areas, there are other problems caused by Tokyo concentration such as crowded trains, waiting lists for nurseries, and pressure on household budgets due to the high living expense in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Currently teleworking is getting a lot of attention as a way to work with mobility, but it will be necessary to consider how to achieve a more systematic decentralization of people and employment such as office relocations and the expansion of regional office functions. Since many young people feel positive about expanding their options for where they study, work, and live, this discussion is expected to become more active in the future.

4.1.2 Long working hours

When we asked about barriers to career development in the roundtable, long working hours in Japan was mentioned. Participant S felt that it is difficult for workers to change their careers and have opportunities to learn as they are too constrained by their jobs, which is not good for both the individual worker and society.

 

The issue of long working hours has been discussed and tackled since before a while. According to the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT) the percentage of workers working more than 49 hours per week was 19% in 2018. Although it is still high compared to European countries, it shows an improvement from 28.3% in 2000[7]. To strengthen measures against long working hours, the Act on the Arrangement of Related Acts to Promote Work Style Reform came into force in 2019. Under this new law, overtime is set to 45 hours per month and 360 hours per year in principle, with limits set for extraordinary and special circumstances[8]. In particular, penalties are now stipulated, which is different from the previous law.

 

Despite legislation to reduce long working hours and a decrease in the number of working hours in the statistics, it appears that the reputation of long hours in the Japanese workplace is not completely negative. According to the Cabinet Office, people who work long hours feel that their bosses and co-workers have a positive image of those who work overtime, while "working little or no overtime and coming home on time" is not valued in their personnel evaluations[9]. It means that those who work longer are more appraised in many workplaces, but rather those who work overtime are valued more.

 

Although long working hours tend to be evaluated positively in the workplace, its influence on health cannot be overlooked. In addition to empirical evidence that long working hours can be a factor that can damage mental health, it is also revealed that the risk of mental health problems increases when employees work longer hours without payment [10]. Interestingly, demographic group cited overtime work without payment cited as a factor in the deterioration of mental health among male workers who graduated from university who are younger than 40 years old. On the other hand, women and those who had not graduated from university were more likely to experience deterioration in their mental health as time commitment increased, regardless of whether they were paid for their work.

 

According to a JILPT survey (targeting workers aged 20-33 at the time of the survey), more than 20% of both men and women left their first full-time job because of "poor conditions of working hours, days off, and holiday", "poor wages", "poor condition of wages", "physical and mental health problems" and "poor workplace relationships”[11]. This result shows that working conditions that can harm physical and mental health could affect young workers' decisions to leave their first job. Also, the average working hours per week is about 5 hours longer for those who left their companies (50.5 hours for men and 47.2 hours for women) than for those who continue to work (45.9 hours for men and 42.8 hours for women), and the percentage of those who worked 60 hours or more per week among those who left their companies (24.4% for men and 16.8% for women) was also twice as high as those who are working (11.1% of men and 6.9% of women)[12]. It indicates that long working hours are associated with a high turnover.

 

Then, what is the ideal way for young people to work? A survey of 300 young people in their first to the third year of working found that 90% of young people need to work no more than 5.5 hours a day to secure the ideal time to sleep, commute, eat and enjoy hobbies and self-development[13]. While this result might be extreme, the emphasis on livelihood is also evident in other surveys. According to a survey by a human resource company, about 80% of full-time employees in their 20s to 30s said that “working is mainly a commercial activity for them only to earn a living”, “they want to work in moderation because they want to have a better life outside of work”, and that “they would like to be evaluated based on results rather than working hours”.[14]

 

Long working hours is also affecting relationships and marriages. Participants in the roundtable discussions said that long working hours makes it difficult to find time to meet new people outside of the workplace, and therefore, to start a new relationship. And even if they were able to start a relationship, the effects of long working hours are noticeable; 72% of men and women who work more than 40 hours of overtime per month have experienced a troubled relationship, and 69% have experienced a troubled marriage life[15]. This suggests that working long hours can be one of the barriers for young people who want to have a relationship or get married.

 

Although working long hours affects workers' mental health, turnover, quality of life, and even relationships and marriages, there is a lack of awareness of the risks of working long hours in the workplace and among workers themselves. Also, it could be dangerous to try to reduce the number of work hours without recognizing the background of long working hours, such as high workloads, lack of human resources, lack of management, and corporate culture. Instead, it could lead to new problems such as working overtime without reporting, a widening gap between the system and reality, and a sudden decrease in income caused by cuts in overtime pay. Working from home in the pandemic also seems to present new challenges, as people no longer have to worry about the "last train" and work endlessly over time.

With new legal regulations already in place, it will be important to take action in the workplace. A study found that voluntary overtime working by workplace leaders had a negative impact on subordinates' work-life balance satisfaction[16]. Unless overtime is necessary, supervisors may need to take the lead in returning home on time, which is an effective way to create an atmosphere that reduces over time in the entire workplace. With the diversification of work styles, such as telework and side jobs, and the increasing number of people working with distance, communication between supervisors and subordinates, as well as between team members, has become more necessary than ever before. For example, sharing openly individual schedules, documents, and customer information may help increase transparency in a team, which could make it easier for members to support each other. Also, regular opportunities for general review (not evaluation) of an individual's work may be helpful, especially for younger members who tend to feel uncomfortable revealing their concerns about their workloads. 

4.1.3 Balancing childbirth/childcare and career

In building one's career, there were several concerns expressed about how to balance one's career with childbirth and childcare. Participant C, who is currently looking for a job, felt that few workplaces realistically considered balancing childbirth and childcare with her career, and thought that to return to work after childbirth, she would have to find a job that had a better childcare leave system. Participant J heard about the difficulties that senior female researchers had experienced in balancing pregnancy and childbirth with their research careers. She said that this would be a problem that she would have to face sooner or later.

 

This view of young people is reflected from the problems facing the current working generation. For example, according to the Cabinet Office's Gender Equality Bureau, among 2.31 million women who want to work, the most common reason for “currently not seeking employment” is for childbirth and childcare, indicating that childbirth and childcare have a significant impact on women's careers. Furthermore, when their youngest child is in preschool nearly 10% of women want to work as a full-time employee, and 40 to 50% after junior high school. In reality, however, less than 20% of women are working full-time even when their youngest child is in junior high school or later. While the percentage of full-time working mother rises at the nursery and kindergarten stages, it drops to the same level as at the preschool stage along with an increase in the number of women who work shorter hours as non-full-time employees[17]. The results suggest that it does not become easier to balance childcare and work along with children’s age.

 

According to OECD's international comparative data[18], Japanese men spend 41 minutes of unpaid work per day, while Japanese women spend 224 minutes of unpaid work per day. In other words, women spend five times as much time as men in unpaid work. However, it is reported that Japanese men's daily paid work hours (452 minutes) are the second longest among OECD countries, after Mexico. It suggests that long working hours may cause less involvement in unpaid work by Japanese men.

 

While there is a significant gender bias in the division of unpaid work, fewer people have started to have a stereotype of gender roles in recent years. According to the 2016 Gender Equality Bureau's "Public Opinion Survey on Gender Equality Society”,[19] for the first time, more than 50% of both men and women support the continuation of women's employment, and "agree" (40.3%) is the lowest percentage ever for the fixed division of gender roles. In other words, we can see that, although awareness of the need to share unpaid labour is growing, there is a tendency for men to work too many hours of paid work, making it practically impossible to share the unpaid work.

 

Establishment of childcare related systems in the workplace is progressing. According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (“MHLW”), in 2017, 93.2% of workplaces with 30 or more employees had provisions for childcare leave, compared to 95.3% in the previous year[20]. It was also reported that the number of workplaces with systems for childbirth and childcare up to age three is the largest followed by the number of workplaces with systems for up to the first year of elementary schooling. It indicates that companies are supportive of childbirth and early childcare.

 

However, is this change in awareness and systems reaching the young people? According to a survey of unmarried young people aged 20-34, while progress has been made in systems for men and women, the system itself is sometimes difficult to use and after all people who work long hours are valued[21]. According to the Cabinet Office's 2018 White Paper on Children and Youth, 86.2% of respondents between the ages of 16 and 29 said they "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree" that there are jobs that make it difficult to balance childcare and work, followed by 81.4% who "find it difficult to change jobs or leave the workforce when they think about family matters[22].

 

On the other hand, in the same survey, 70.4% of respondents said that their work is more rewarding when they get married or have children, indicating that childbirth and childcare motivate them to work[23]. By utilizing this motivation, it may be possible to design a way of balancing working and family life that is mutually beneficial, rather than work being at the expense of family life.

 

To this end, it will be necessary to redistribute unpaid work, which is also a factor in gender inequality. Rather than having one person bear the burden of housework and childcare in the household, it is essential to distribute it according to each other's careers and work conditions. For example, it may be effective to make unpaid work paid through using a housekeeping service and visualize how much labour is spent on housework and childcare. It would make it possible for partners to redistribute household labour among themselves in a way that reflects their working hours and wages (including unpaid work). Instead of keeping unpaid work to women, it will be meaningful for partners to communicate with each other, as in the family described in a Japanese comic "Nigeru wa haji daga yakuni tatsu (Running away is a shame, but useful)". Moreover, training in housekeeping and childcare in the family can be helpful in building habits and skills. For example, set a day at home to share household and childcare methods when you start living with your partner or when your child is in middle or high school. Consciously setting such a time would help them to acquire household and childcare skills and create the potential for them to become more proactive in such a role. Besides, redistributing unpaid labour requires a review of paid work, because if employees work too much time at work in a limited time frame, the amount of time they can use outside of work will naturally decrease. Therefore, reviewing long working hours, working more efficiently, and increasing the time available outside of work will lead to a rational redistribution of unpaid labour.

Also, we believe that it is necessary to create role models who balance work with childbirth and childcare. As we have seen, Participant C and N's concern maybe because they have seen and heard about the difficulties in reality, which makes them not sure whether it is practically possible to do so. This concern might be alleviated if there are role models around who are taking advantage of the systems that are in the workplace, or reasonably distributing unpaid work at home. While it is relevant to increase the number of such role models, it may also help young people by increasing the opportunities for direct connections between role models and young people through apps or other platforms.

 

4.2 Harassment

Harassment such as abuse of authority and sexual harassment was mentioned in the roundtable discussion. Participant F, who has worked in the private sector, feels that in many offices there is insufficient awareness of harassment towards new employees. Furthermore, she questioned the tendency to link the durability of harassment to individual competence.

 

Looking at the current state of workplace harassment in terms of numbers, Japanese Trade Union Confederation (“JTUC”)'s survey in 2019 reported that 38% of all respondents had experienced harassment[24]. In addition, according to a survey in 2016 by MHLW, 32.5% of employees responded that they had been subjected to abuse of authority in the past three years (compared to 25.3% in 2012)[25]. Furthermore, consultations related to "bullying/harassment" at the General Labour Consultation Centre at prefectural labour bureaus topped the list of consultations in 2012 and are continuing to increase[26].

 

While the number of consultations regarding harassment is on the rise, measures to address harassment in the workplace in Japan are being established. A new law was enacted in May 2019, obliging companies to take measures against abuse of authority in the workplace at large companies from June 2020. Under this law, the definition of abuse of authority has been redefined. However, a proviso was added: "From an objective standpoint, appropriate work instructions and guidance that are necessary and reasonable do not fall under the category of abuse of work in the workplace [27]." It is important to keep in mind that harassment itself depends largely on how the victim feels (e.g., even if the same words are said by the same person, each person feels differently), there is a possibility that the harassment damage may be underestimated..

 

The key to combating harassment is not only to develop laws, but also to change workers' attitudes toward harassment. According to a survey by JTUC, 44% of those who were harassed did not talk to anyone about it. The most common reason for not talking to anyone was that they thought it would be useless to talk about it (67.3%), followed by "I thought talking to anyone would make me feel uncomfortable again" (20.6%) and "I didn't know who to talk to" (17.0%)[28]. This suggests that few people believe that talking about harassment is an effective way to get help, and that there are few colleagues to be able to talk to in workplaces. This suggests a lack of understanding of harassment in the workplace among workers themselves.

 

Harassment is also affecting young people who leave the workforce or find a job. According to a survey by JTUC, 27.3% of those in their 20s chose to leave their jobs as a result of harassment, and women in their 20s showed a higher figure than any other generation with 33.3%[29]. This result suggests that harassment is one of the reasons why young people leave the workforce. In the same survey, 21% of men in their 20s and 12.5% of women in their 20s said they had experienced sexual harassment during their job searching, which had the effect of making them less motivated to look for a job and more afraid of meeting other people[30]. The most common type of harassment was "sexual jokes or teasing" (39.8%), followed by "asking questions about sexual facts (e.g., sexual experiences)" (23.9%) and "persistent invitations to dinner or a date" (20.5%). This indicates that sexual topics are often brought up during employment interviews and alumni visits.[31].

 

Meanwhile, as an international perspective, “the Resolution concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work[32]” was adopted by the ILO General Assembly in 2019 with overwhelming support. The resolution includes interns, job seekers and volunteers in the scope of protection, as well as a wide range of locations, including not only the workplace, but also commuting to and from work, email, internal social networking sites and employee dormitories. Since such a broad concept of harassment includes not only harassment during job hunting, but also new types of harassment called "remote-harassment” or “tele-harassment" that have emerged as a result of the increase in teleworking, referring to the resolution would help enhance measures against harassment in Japan.

 

With a rapid expansion of the "workplace" due to the pandemic, and new types of harassment, what measures are possible? Companies may cooperate with a third-party organization to create a work environment in which it is easy to talk about harassment. Many people who have been harassed are not currently able to talk about it at their workplaces, while the number of consultations to prefectural labour bureaus continues to increase. It suggests that there is a need for a consultation organization in the workplace that guarantees the content of the conversation confidential. Besides, such a third-party organization is not necessary only in larger companies, but also in smaller companies with smaller internal communities. Also, creating an environment in which a third party's opinion can be consulted may help promote mutual understanding between young workers and managers, as a wide generational gap in perceptions of harassment often exists (what younger employees perceive as harassment is often considered "better than what I have been done" by managers).

================================

[1] Ibid, p.13

[2] National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (2018) "Projected Future Population of Japan by Region (2018)" p.8 http://www.ipss.go.jp/pp-shicyoson/j/shicyoson18/1kouhyo/gaiyo_s.pdf

[3]Ibid. p. 7.

[4] Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2019), "Basic Resident Register Population Mobility Report 2019 (2019) Results," p.2 https://www.stat.go.jp/data/idou/2019np/kihon/pdf/all.pdf

[5] Daiwa Institute of Research (2018), "Population outflow and regional development associated with university enrolment: Is curbing university capacity growth in Tokyo's 23 wards the trump card to stop population outflow?" https://www.dir.co.jp/report/research/policy-analysis/regionalecnmy/ 20180104_012631.pdf

[6] Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (2019), "The Current State of the Concentration of Corporations in Tokyo", p.3 https://www.mlit.go.jp/kokudoseisaku/content/001319708.pdf

[7]Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training (JILPT) (2019) 'Databook International Labour Comparison 2019', p.247

https://www.jil.go.jp/kokunai/statistics/databook/2019/06/d2019_T6-03.pdf

Ibid (2015) 'Databook International Labour Comparison 2015', p.202 https://www.jil.go.jp/kokunai/statistics/databook/2015/06/p202_t6-3.pdf

[8]MHLW, "Special Site for Work Style Support" https://www.mhlw.go.jp/hatarakikata/overtime.html

[9] Cabinet Office (2014), 'Gender Equality Bureau, Survey of Individuals and Companies on Work-Life Balance', p.10 http://wwwa.cao.go.jp/wlb/research/wlb_h2511/9_insatsu.pdf

[10] Kuroda, Yamamoto (2014) 'Employee mental health and working hours: an examination using employee panel data' https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/14j020.pdf

[11] Labour Policy Research and Training Institute (2019), "Survey Series No. 191, 'Job Turnover and Career Development of Young People after Job Turnover II (Second Survey on Skills Development and Workplace Retention of Young People),'" p. 104

https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2019/documents/191_03.pdf

[12] Ibid. p.117

[13] Parsol Process Technology (2017) "Conducted a survey of young people's ideal work style, 80% of young people's ideal boss is the type who works zero overtime and delivers results

https://www.persol-pt.co.jp/news/2017/08/09/1858/

[14] Recruit Management Solutions (2017), "Survey Report on Long Working Hours: Actual Conditions and Attitudes of Regular Employees in Their 20s to 30s on Average Monthly Working Hours

https://www.recruit-ms.co.jp/issue/inquiry_report/0000000582/

[15] Partner Agent (2017) "About 70% of people who have experienced the loss of a relationship or marriage due to long hours of overtime! Those who "gave up dating and concentrated on work" (15.5%) and "changed jobs" (9.2%)

https://www.p-a.jp/research/report_83.html

[16] Watanabe, Yamauchi (2017) "The impact of long working hours of workplace leaders on subordinates' work-life balance satisfaction: an examination of nursing professionals working in hospitals

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jsha/54/2/54_65/_pdf/-char/ja

 

[17] Gender Equality Bureau (2020), White Paper for Gender Equality 2020, http://www.gender.go.jp/about_danjo/whitepaper/r02/gaiyou/pdf/r02_gaiyou.pdf

[18] OECD Employment : Time spent in paid and unpaid work, by sex https://www.oecd.org/gender/data/time-spent-in-unpaid-paid-and-total-work-by-sex.htm

[19] Department for Gender Equality (2016), Co-Equalities, December 2016, p.3 http://www.gender.go.jp/public/kyodosankaku/2016/201612/pdf/201612.pdf

[20]MHLW (2018), "2017 Basic Survey on Equal Employment," p. 14

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/71-29r/03.pdf

[21] Nissay Research Institute, "Young People Today and Ten Years from Now: How They Work - The Gap Between the Ideal and Reality of Worker Reform and Expectations for the After-Corona" (Japanese only) https://www.nli-research.co.jp/files/topics/64268_ext_18_0.pdf?site=nli

[22] Cabinet Office, "White Paper on Children and Young People, 2018 https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

[23] Cabinet Office, "White Paper on Children and Young People, 2018 https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

[24]Japan Federation of Trade Unions (2019) "Survey on Harassment in the World of Work 2019" https://www.jtuc-rengo.or.jp/info/chousa/data/20190528.pdf?50

[25]MHLW (2017) "Survey on Power Harassment in the Workplace" https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/0000163573.html

[26]MHLW's "Akarui Workplace Cheering Group" portal site for prevention and resolution of workplace bullying and harassment issues. https://www.no-harassment.mhlw.go.jp/foundation/statistics/

[27] Translation by the author. MHLW (2020), "Guidelines on Harassment in the Workplace" https://www.no-harassment.mhlw.go.jp/pdf/symposium_siryo_2.pdf

[28] Japan Federation of Trade Unions (2019) 'Survey on Harassment in the World of Work 2019', p.5 https://www.jtuc-rengo.or.jp/info/chousa/data/20190528.pdf?50

[29] Ibid, p. 7.

[30] Ibid, p. 8-12.

[31] Ibid, p. 9.

[32]ILO Office in Japan "Violence and Harassment Convention of 2019 (No. 190)" https://www.ilo.org/tokyo/standards/list-of-conventions/WCMS_723156/lang--ja/index.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next article is about simultaneous recruiting of new graduates, stereotypes in career development and lifelong learning ↓

labourstandard1919.hatenablog.com

Intern report (2/4): Youth and the World of Work in the COVID19-From Perspective of Former ILO Tokyo Office Interns

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201202225213p:plain

===============

Inspired by the ILO survey on the impact on young people, this paper reports the findings from three roundtable discussions with a total of eight former/current ILO Tokyo Office interns (20s-30s) conducted in June 2020. Listening to the real voices of each individual, this paper identifies the impacts of the pandemic experienced by ILO interns as well as the elements influencing young people's careers even before the outbreak in Japan. Besides, some ideas are noted to overcome the existing issues with a hope to suggest what “the future of work” might be from young people’s perspective.

 

Please check out previous posts at the following link. 

=============== 

3.    The impact of the pandemic faced by ILO interns 

So far, we have outlined the impact of the outbreak on young people presented in the ILO report.

While the ILO's research has revealed the challenges facing young people around the world, we wanted to further breakdown "young people" and find out more about individual circumstances and feelings of young people in terms of their careers.

To this end, we held three roundtable discussions with eight former/current ILO interns to share the situations that each individual was facing during this crisis and exchange their views on their careers.

In light of the ILO report, the following section introduces real voices shared by each former/current ILO intern in the roundtable discussions.

 

3.1 Introduction of the participants of the roundtable

Graduate school student specializing in international human rights law. After graduating from university, she continued her research at a graduate school to become a researcher. As a foreigner who was born and raised in Japan, she is interested in the problems of foreigners in Japan. She plans to study abroad this year.

Graduate school student specializing in human security. She was born in South Korea but spent her childhood in Japan. Influenced by her father, a missionary, she has been interested in international cooperation since she was a child. She plans to start working at a consulting company next year.

After graduating from university, she obtained her master's degree in development education and global learning from a graduate school in the UK. She then worked for a company that dealt with human resource development/executive coaching and is currently studying labor issues as an ILO intern. This year, she plans to join her partner in South America.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174523p:plainPractitioner of international cooperation. After graduating from university, he worked in the private sector. He then spent two years in Madagascar as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer and obtained a master's degree in international development at a graduate school in the UK. After returning to Japan, he worked as an intern at the ILO and is currently working in Côte d'Ivoire as a fixed-term employee. He is in charge of projects related to cooperation between the primary industries and the private sectors and is responsible for monitoring and supervising projects.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174530p:plainAfter graduating from university and working for a while, she went to a graduate school in the UK to obtain her master's degree. Returning to Japan, she has been looking for a job at companies or organizations that provide support to migrant workers, which is her area of expertise. On the other hand, she is also engaged in a part-time job related to international development.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174536p:plainGraduate students specialized in the reproduction of disparity, poverty, and inequality in Morocco, with a particular focus on the educational arena.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901184624p:plainWorking for a financial institution. After graduating from law school, she entered a public policy graduate school to study labour policy, labour law, and quantitative analysis of policy. She is currently working at a financial institution and is attracted to the fact that she can do finance-related work with a broad perspective. She is in the middle of an online rookie training program.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901184634p:plain Attorney. Loves labour law, and while studying violations of the duty of collective bargaining at graduate school, she also works as an attorney at a law firm being in charge of cases related to the new coronavirus and handles other financial matters such as stocks and mergers and acquisitions. Realizing the importance of being outspoken, she communicates actively through SNS.

 

3.2 Employment

The ILO report clearly shows that the COVID-19 has had a huge impact on labour market for young people around the world. Employment problems are more severe than ever before: 6.9% of young people aged 18-29 have already lost their jobs, 10.5% are employed but have worked zero hours. A total of 17.4% are out of work, which means that one in six people are not able to work[1]. Nearly half (54.0%) of young people lost their jobs after the pandemic because of either the closure of the company they were working for or being laid off[2].

One of the participants in the roundtable discussion also had this problem. After completing her internship at the ILO, participant C originally contracted to work for two months as an outsourced assistant, but it has changed to a monthly contract due to the pandemic. She has difficulty in looking for a new job because of the pandemic.

 

Participant T is working in Côte d'Ivoire as an international cooperation practitioner in charge of a project on cooperation between the primary industries and the private sectors as a fixed-term employee. According to his contract, he was supposed to stay in Côte d'Ivoire until December 2021, but due to the pandemic, he had to return to Japan temporarily. Since he cannot go to the project site and does not know when he could return to Côte d'Ivoire, his plans and salary have been greatly affected.

 

Participant K, a graduate student, had to cancel a field study she had planned for her research for this summer. Since field research is an essential part of her research, she will have to make changes to her plans for the next few years.

 

While the impact of the pandemic has not emerged as an immediate employment problem, it has created a situation that could affect future employment. As the ILO report warns, many young people, especially those in the transition from education to work, are exposed to labour market risks on an unprecedented scale. We could observe this risk turning into reality from each situation of ILO interns.

 

3.3 Reduction in working hours and income

Along with the issue of employment, one particularly salient problem is the decrease in working hours and earnings. According to the report, 37% of young people in employment saw a reduction in working hours, while 78% of those who had a decrease in working hours saw a cut in wages by 42%[3].

 

During the roundtable discussion, not only Participant C, who had her contract period reduced, but also Participant T, who had to return to Japan temporarily, also spoke about the impact of the pandemic on their salaries. He got a local allowance in Côte d'Ivoire, but he cannot receive it while in Japan. Hence, his salary was severely cut. It has been a great problem for him, as he has to repay the scholarship.

Participant J had worked part-time to pay for her living expenses, especially her monthly rent while doing research. However, the company she worked for closed down temporarily, and she lost her part-time income for a few months. As she still has to pay the rent, she has managed to make ends meet by using up her savings.

As the report points out, young people who receive an education while working are concerned that they may not be able to finish their studies, and that the work experience and income they have lost may be difficult to make up for. Several participants in the roundtables also mentioned such risk and anxiety.

 

3.4 Increase in working hours 

The negative effects of COVID-19 are not only seen in a decrease in working hours but also an increase. In the ILO report, 17% of the young workers had an increase in working hours per day from 7.3 to 10.3. Of this group, two-thirds (67%) reported working more than 10 hours a day. The report notes that 30 % of the young workers reported a decrease in earnings after the onset of the pandemic, suggesting that they may be working longer hours to compensate for the decrease in income.

 

Some participants from the roundtable pointed out that teleworking has caused longer working hours. Participant F said she sometimes works too long, and that it is difficult to separate the teleworking time from her private time. There are some researchers indicate that one of the downsides of telework is that they tend to work longer hours[4]. The fact that young workers work longer than before suggests that it can be more difficult to disconnect from work along with an increase in teleworking.

 

3.5 Gender

According to the report, gender differences in employment, income decline, and self-rated productivity are primarily caused by occupational differences between young men and women and other socio-economic factors[5]. The study reflects the situation of young men and women with higher education. While young men are affected by unemployment, fewer working hours, and lower earnings, young women tend to have lower self-rated productivity. Comparing young men and women of the same age along with employment status (public/private) and major occupational groups (ISCP-08), the gender difference decreased by one-third (37%) for declining earnings, one-half (53%) for less working hours, and almost non-existent (98%) for unemployment. On the other hand, a significant gender difference (9%) was shown only with self-rated productivity. The result may be influenced by factors other than work, such as increased domestic and care work. The results of the Labour Force Survey show that the labour market prospects of young women have been severely affected by this crisis[6], and studies of previous economic crises show that the impact of the economic downturn varies between men and women[7]. Therefore, further research is needed to understand the gender impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The gender differences in the impact of the pandemic did not come up in the roundtable discussion, as there was only one male participant in the discussion. However, the worries on the women's side, which they have had since before this disaster, have not been resolved yet. We will look at this topic in the next post.

 

3.6 Teleworking

Under the pandemic, nearly three-quarters (72%) of young workers reported working partially or fully from home[8]. Young people in managerial (82%), professional (77%), and technical (78%) occupations were more likely to telecommute than those in clerical, sales, and other occupations (54%), and young people working in the private sector (68%) were less likely to telecommute than those in the public sector (77%). Younger women (75%) reported working from home than young men (68%) [9].

 

Roundtable participants also indicated that they had partially or fully adopted teleworking due to the outbreak. An attorney O had worked remotely since February, and when the declaration of state emergency was lifted (May 25, 2020), she started to spend two days a week working at the office. She said that she continues to work a combination of office working in core time (going to the office at 10 am and going home before 4-5 pm) and working from home. She was positive about working from home, saying that one of the best findings during the pandemic was to realize that her work could be done at home. On the other hand, Participant S, who works at a financial institution since April 2020, said that she currently conducts all of her new employee training online and is concerned about whether she can adapt to the changes that will occur when she has to go to the office.

 

Also, the current interns have been fully telecommuting since March. Participant N and F had worked in the office for the first month, then moved to telework. Participant J started her internship completely online from the beginning. She had to pay extra attention to staff members who she had not seen before, while there was no opportunity to meet new people which she could have gotten from a normal internship. Participant N said that she was confused by the change of working style in the beginning. On the other hand, Participant F emphasized the importance of close online communication with colleagues as her supervisor helped her a lot through frequent video callings.

 

While starting a new job fully online seemed to be challenging, those who had started their job before the pandemic tend to find positive aspects of teleworking.

 

3.7 Education and Training

The report revealed that career prospects are fraught with uncertainty (40%) and fear (14%) as young people predict difficulty in completing education and training[10]. This is linked to the closure of schools and places to learn, which is depriving young people of social contact.

 

Participant N had also planned to study abroad this fall, however, all of her classes for the year were switched to online due to the travel restrictions. Although educational opportunities have been secured, as she plans to work in the destination country, the pandemic made her concerned about her future career.

 

Even amid the new coronavirus crisis and school closures, nearly half of young people are taking advantage of new learning opportunities[11]. 44% of those surveyed, including 53% of young people who have completed higher education, began their studies at the beginning of the pandemic. While many young people are taking courses related to specific occupations or to improve their technical skills (54%), they also indicate a range of interest in learning (foreign languages, ICT, communication skills, problem-solving, and teamwork).

 

Participant O had planned to study abroad but had to change her plans due to the pandemic. She is currently motivated to look for other ways to improve her skills as she considers studying abroad as one of her options.

 

By looking at quantitative data presented in the ILO report and the real voices of eight former interns from the ILO Tokyo Office, we have been able to observe the specific situations faced by young people affected by the pandemic. The problems and changes that the roundtable participants are experiencing with this outbreak overlapped in many ways with those outlined in the ILO's report such as employment problems, reduced income, increased working hours, concerns about future careers derived from gender issues, telecommuting, and educational opportunities. In this regard, the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on young people as presented in the ILO report was shared to some extent by the ILO interns. At the same time, we found that there were various personal circumstances behind the situation, as well as diverse ways of perceiving the situation itself.

================================

[1] ILO (2020) "Youth&COVID-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Well-being", https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/documents/publication/wcms_753026.pdf, p.13

[2] Ibid, p. 18.

[3] Ibid, p. 19.

[4] According to the "Survey on Diverse Working Styles (Telework)" published by the Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs in March 2019, the top disadvantage felt by those who have teleworked at home is that they tend to work long hours. https://www.hataraku.metro. tokyo.lg.jp/hatarakikata/telework/30_telework_tyousa.pdf

[5] supra note 5, p.19

[6] ILO (2020) "Preventing exclusion from the labour market: Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis" https://www.ilo.org/emppolicy/pubs/WCMS_746031/lang--en/index.htm

[7] Rubery, J. and Rafferty, A. (2013) "Women and recession revisited. Work, employment and society", 27(3), pp.414-432.

[8] supra note 5, p.20

[9] This 30% gender difference is due to the fact that men in our sample are more likely to work in the private sector (where the telecommuting environment is less well-developed than in the public sector) than women.

[10] supra note 5, p.26

[11] Ibid.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next article is about persisting problems in youth-employment in Japan since before the pandemic↓

labourstandard1919.hatenablog.com

Intern report (1/4): Youth and the World of Work in the COVID19-From Perspective of Former ILO Tokyo Office Interns

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201202225213p:plain

 

Executive Summary

COVID-19 has transformed our lives and exposed the challenges faced by different groups, including migrant workers and women. The ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Fourth edition and "Youth&COVID-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Well-being," point out the severe impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on young people such as a significant increase in unemployment and suspension of education and training. 

 

Inspired by the ILO survey on the impact on young people, this paper reports the findings from three roundtable discussions with a total of eight former/current ILO Tokyo Office interns (20s-30s) conducted in June 2020. Listening to the real voices of each individual, this paper identifies the impacts of the pandemic experienced by ILO interns as well as the elements influencing young people's careers even before the outbreak in Japan. Besides, some ideas are noted to overcome the existing issues with a hope to suggest what “the future of work” might be from young people’s perspective.

 

The impact of the pandemic faced by ILO interns

To find out individual circumstances and feelings of young people in this pandemic in terms of their careers, three roundtable discussions were held to share the situations which each individual was facing during this crisis and exchange their views on their careers.

Employment: While the impact of the pandemic has not emerged as an immediate employment problem, it has created a situation that could affect future employment for young people such as temporary suspensions of projects and job searching, and cancellation of planned research.  

Reduction in working hours and income: A roundtable participant experienced a reduction in the period of employment, which resulted in a reduction in income. Other participants also went through income reduction, which made them difficult to pay student loan and rent.

Increase in working hours: some interns revealed that teleworking has caused longer working hours than before. The fact that young workers work longer than before suggests that it can be more difficult to disconnect from work along with an increase in teleworking.

Gender: The obstacles to balancing childcare and career were pointed out, although the participants haven’t observed new problems arise from the pandemic yet.

Teleworking: Roundtable participants have partially or fully adopted teleworking including online training due to the outbreak. While starting a new job fully online seemed to be challenging, those who had started their job before the pandemic tend to find positive aspects of teleworking.

Education and Training: With the cancellation of studying abroad, some participants had to reconsider their future career plans.

 

Problems persisting from pre-pandemic 

Roundtable participants often referred to problems that had persisted since before the pandemic when they talked about their concerns about their future careers. There are five themes;

Work Style: 

- Tokyo centralization caused a significant disparity in terms of academic and employment options between rural and metropolitan areas, which makes young people move to Tokyo.

- Although working long hours affects workers' mental health, turnover, quality of life, and even relationships and marriages, there is a lack of awareness of the risks of working long hours in the workplace and among workers themselves.

- Many participants considered pursuing one’s career while engaging with childcare challenges. This concern could be derived from the current situation of a significant gender bias in the division of unpaid work, long working hours in paid work and evaluation standards in workplaces, and a lack of role models. 

Harassment

- While the number of consultations regarding harassment is on the rise, harassment against young people both in the workplace and in the recruitment process makes it difficult to remain in the workforce. Many victims cannot/do not talk about what their harm because they do not consider talking/consulting helpful.

Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates: [1]

- This unique recruiting system in Japan benefits companies in terms of a regular human resource supply and easiness in training new employees. However, students tend to suffer from the pressure of not being able to fail because of the difficulty of finding jobs for those who have already graduated and are not categorized as “new graduates”. [2] Furthermore, as students decide on companies in a rush, a mismatch with a company after starting to work leads to an early leaving from the job.  

Stereotypes in career development

- The blank in a career (period of unemployment) tends to be considered negatively, which makes young people feel uneasy about not being part of an organization/ institution/ company. This idea of a continued linear career puts women who often leave the workforce because of childbirth/childcare in a difficult position.

- Japanese companies often place a high value on training generalists through such as “job rotation”, which allows employees to gain experience in a variety of tasks. However, frequent transfers with ambiguous objectives can reduce the individual's freedom to build a career, as motivation to work is reduced and expertise is barely developed.

Lifelong Learning:

- More and more people undertake self-education to acquire the knowledge necessary for their jobs and future career development. However, long working hours could reduce learning opportunities. Besides, the financial burden of learning could be an obstacle.

 

Ideas for the better future of work

In response to the problems we discussed, which persisted since before COVID-19, this paper has proposed the following ideas that may lead to solutions to the issues, hoping that these ideas provide hints for a better future of work.

 

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201201002406p:plain

[1] In Japan, companies generally conduct a recruitment test within a limited period (mainly in springtime), recruit students who are about to graduate simultaneously and at once, and new graduates start work immediately after graduation.

[2] New graduates are students who just graduated from the universities. On the other hands, students who finished the universities more then one year are referred as old graduates.

 

1. Introduction

COVID-19 has transformed our lives and exposed the challenges faced by different groups, including migrant workers and women. The ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Fourth edition focuses on the impact of novel coronavirus on young people[1].

 

The monitoring report points out the triple shock that young people are facing:

(1) Over one in six young people surveyed have stopped working since the onset of the COVID19 crisis. Among young people who have remained in employment, working hours have fallen by 23%;

(2) Education and training are also suspended;

(3) Emergence of larger obstacles to finding work, (re-)entering the labour market and trying to transition to better jobs.

 

The report, "Youth&COVID-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Well-being," released on August 12 on the occasion of International Youth Day, includes a survey of more than 12,000 young people (18-34 years old) in approximately 112 countries. The report analysed in four areas: employment, education and training, mental well-being, and youth rights.

 

Through these surveys, a question came to our mind:

What do young people really think and feel about their careers in this pandemic?

 

Inspired by the ILO survey on the impact on young people, we conducted three roundtable discussions with a total of eight former/current ILO interns to "visualize" actual influence on their careers. In this paper, Chapter 2 outlines the content of the ILO report, and Chapter 3 identifies the consequences of the pandemic, which are evident in episodes that emerged from the roundtable discussions. Chapter 4 addresses some elements suggested in the roundtable that has influenced young people's careers even before the outbreak and offers ideas for overcoming these issues. Through this report, we hope to suggest what "the future of work" might be from young people's perspective.

 

Listening to the real voices of each individual is as important as macroscopic analysis and data used in ILO monitoring reports because the impact of the pandemic varies from person to person. This attitude resonates with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which pledged to "leave no one behind" on the planet. We believe that individual stories will help us to better understand the reality of the impact of the pandemic.

 

The content and information in the roundtable are as of June 2020, when the roundtable discussions were held.

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901184703p:plain

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174606p:plain

 (Roundtable discussion)

 

2. The impact of the pandemic on youth according to the ILO report

First, we will review the impact suggested in the report "Youth&COVID-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Well-being"[2].

 

Concerning "employment", the report identifies the following impacts, noting that young people have been facing a tough labor market even before the COVID-19 outbreak occurred:

 

  • 4% of young people who responded to the survey stopped working;
  • Among those who stopped working, 6.9% are unemployed; 10.5% are employed but working zero-hours;
  • Among young people in employment, 37% of respondents showed a decrease and 17% showed an increase in working hours;
  • 78% of young people who had a decrease in working hours had a decrease in wages by 42%;
  • The most common occupations for young people who lost their jobs were administrative support, services, sales, crafts, and related industries.
  • Declining working hours and earnings are exposing many young people to unprecedented labor market risks. Many of them are in transition from education to work;
  • Young people who reported an increase in working hours raises concerns about overtime work and difficulties experienced in disconnecting from work;
  • Nearly a third of young people switched to partial/complete remote work;
  • The gender difference regarding impacts on employment is largely driven by occupational differences between young women and men and other socio-economic factors.
  • Young women assessed their productivity lower than young men, which may be because of increased domestic or care work;
  • Many of the government's labor policies tend to target young people who remain in employment.

 

This enormous impact could deprive young people of employment prospects in the long term. The report calls for an urgent, large-scale, targeted employment policy response to protect an entire generation of young people.

 

Concerning "education and training", the analysis included not only formal education in educational institutions but also informal education. From the results of the questionnaire, the report states that the following impacts:

 

  • 79% of the respondents reported that the school closures and other measures had caused interruptions in education and training;
  • Significance in a "digital divide" due to the introduction of online education;
  • 65% of young people who continued to learn also learned less than they did before the pandemic;
  • To conduct smooth online following challenges are required to be solved: lack of internet access, digital skills to learn and teach remotely, IT equipment at home, materials for remote teaching, and group work and social connections;
  • The lack of career prospects leaves many young people feeling uncertain and insecure;
  • However, even during this crisis, more than half of young people are creating opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge.

 

Concerning "mental well-being" almost half of the respondents were found to be potentially affected by anxiety or depression. Although expectations for the future motivate the young people to start decent work, approximately 54% of young people are now worried about their future because of the pandemic.

 

Concerning "rights" the focus is on the right to education, the right to housing, and freedom of religion and belief. For example, about 32% of young people who lost their jobs felt that their right to housing was affected.

 

As we have seen above, the impact of the new coronavirus is varied. However, the results also revealed that one in four respondents engaged in volunteer work and donations. Moreover, they made efforts to connect with friends and family during the quarantine through social networking services and platforms.

================================

[1] Monitoring defines youth as 18-29 years old.

[2] The ILO survey covers a total of 12,605 young people aged 18-34. The report defines young people as 18-29 years old and analyses the survey results for 30-34 years old as a comparator. The young people who responded were mainly young workers with higher education. A total of 112 countries responded to the survey, but since the questionnaire was administered online, it does not adequately reflect the voices of young people in low-income countries.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next article is about the impact of the pandemic faced by ILO interns↓

labourstandard1919.hatenablog.com

【まとめシリーズ vol.4】コロナ禍に聞く若者の働き方 :コロナ以前から続く問題意識の「見える化」(新卒一括採用&キャリア形成における固定観念&生涯学習)

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828120432p:plain

これまでのまとめシリーズはこちら↓

 

Vol.1

Vol.2

Vol.3

 

新卒一括採用

座談会にて就職活動中の困難や不安が共有される中で、新卒者として就職活動を行なったJさんは、新卒採用の流れから外れると今後就職の足がかりが掴みづらくなるのでは、と不安を感じた経験を共有してくれました。もし卒業のタイミングで就職ができなかったら…このような悩みは、一個人の悩みでもありますが、日本のキャリア形成、特に就職活動の特徴によって生じるものでもあり、多くの新卒就職活動者が持つ悩みといえます。

日本は一般的に、企業が卒業を予定している学生(新卒者)を対象に一括に求人し、限られた期間で採用試験を行なった後、卒業直後に入社する、いわゆる「新卒一括採用」という仕組みを取っています*1

これまで日本型雇用環境は終身雇用を特徴としており、未経験で熟練していない者を職務につけるための企業内教育が施される仕組みが成熟してきました。企業は教育への投資と回収期間という観点から、できるだけ長期の雇用契約を継続できる者にすることが合理的な判断であり、新規学卒者がその対象となるのは必然といえます。

企業が新卒として学生を採用する際は経験やスキルをあまり問わないため、学生は今後の成長可能性を見込まれ大企業への入社機会を得られるというメリットがあります。また、企業側は優秀な人材を早く確保できたり、採用の手間とコストを削減することができます。採用の形式に関する内閣府の調査によると、企業側が新卒一括採用を行う理由として「定期的に一定数の人材を確保できる」、「他社の風習などに染まっていないフレッシュな人材を確保できる」といった点があげられており*2、企業は育てやすい人材を定期的に確保するという観点からこの仕組みをメリットと捉えていることがわかります。

一方では、この仕組みが就活生の悩みの元になることも多くあります。卒業後は新卒枠から外れてしまうため、失敗できないというプレッシャーに苦しんだり、限られた時間で内定を得るために短期間で多数の企業を受けなければならず、心身への負担になったり学業への影響を及ぼす可能性があるためです。学生向けキャリア支援サービス会社が行った新卒生対象の調査によると、就活前の不安として「就職できるかどうか」が上位に、就活時に実際に大変だったこととして「スケジュールの過密さ」、「エントリーシートなどの負担」が上位に挙げられています*3。また、注目すべきもう1つの点は「就活費用」が上位に来ているということです。調査によると新卒生の就活費用は、全国平均16万1,312円となり、特に交通費・宿泊費が大きな負担となっています。さらに関東と地方平均には約5万円の差があることがわかりました*4。情報や教育、また就職の機会自体が都市部へ集中してしまう東京一極集中の問題と相まって就活生内で格差が生じ、都市部以外の新卒就活生により大きい負担となっていることがわかります。

企業の採用活動の対象が新卒に集中している中で、この期を逃してしまうとやり直しがきかないのではないかと不安は、既卒者の就職状況の難しさからも見て取ることができます。厚生労働省の調査によると、実際に過去1年間の既卒者応募受付状況に関して、新規学卒者の採用枠での正社員の募集に「既卒者は応募可能だった」とする事業所の割合は、調査産業計で43%となり、そのうち「採用にいたった」のは47%となっています*5。この調査から、既卒者となってしまうと就職の機会が制限されてしまう状況を確かめることができます。

学生にとって「新卒枠」は良いチャンスでもありますが、企業を決める判断基準をもちあわせていない場合があり、企業とのミスマッチによって早期に離職してしまうという問題も起こっています。2019年に厚生労働省が発表した「子供・若者白書の中の就労に関する若者の意識調査」では、3年未満で初職を離職した若者が30%を超え、離職理由として43.4%の若者が「仕事が自分に合わなかったため」としています*6

ミスマッチを防ぐ方法としてインターンシップ制度に注目が集まっていますが、日本のインターンシップ制度は採用活動ではなく教育活動の一環として位置付けられており*7、十分な就業体験を得られる機会として生かされていないという指摘もあります。大手人材サービス企業が行なった調査によると、企業のインターンシッププログラム内容に最も多かったのは、通常業務でない別の課題や職場の見学、社員との同席・同行で、また、実施期間についても「1日」としている企業がもっとも多く*8、実施内容と期間双方からして十分に企業と職務を理解できる期間とは言えません。この現状を認識し、日本の経団連は政府に対して、1日限りでは就業体験にはならないとして「ワンデーインターンシップ」の名称は使用しないように要請したり、教育活動として位置づけられているインターン制度に、採用活動を意識した規定を追加することを求めています。

学生にとってチャンスにも悩みの元にもなる新卒一括採用は一概にその良し悪しを判断することはできませんが、日本の労働市場の特徴とされてきた終身雇用や年功序列の慣行が崩れつつある中、一括採用ルールに対する見直しの声が高まっています。また、新型コロナウイルスの感染拡大と春の就活採用時期が重なり、就職活動に大きな支障が出たことを受けて、特定の時期に集中的に選考する方式に対して懐疑の声も高まっています。経団連は2021年度卒からの「採用選考に関する指針」の廃止を発表しました。指針の廃止に関する就活生の意見を調べた調査によると、廃止に賛成した学生は全体の60%となり、アンケートでは6割以上の学生が一括採用と通年採用の併用、または通年採用が望ましいと考えていることがわかりました*9。当事者である学生が現在の採用方式に対して違和感を覚えていたり、一括採用に対する変化を求めていることは明らかであると言えます。

「新卒」というチャンスを逃したくないがために悩まされる学生に配慮した新しい採用方式が必要であることは間違いありません。そのために新卒という期間に縛られず、様々なライフステージでより自由に就職活動に挑戦できる環境や制度が必要です。現在、新卒採用に比べて就職に不利とされている既卒者や第二新卒者を対象にした採用枠を増やすことは、新卒枠に縛られない就職活動を行うことができる方法の1つとなりえます。また、一定期間に集中している採用日程を分散させ通年採用を取り入れることは、一括採用による学生への負担を軽減させることができます。現在、企業による通年採用の実施率は25%程度にとどまっており*10、今後さらに多くの企業が実施することを期待できるでしょう。通年採用を実施することによって就職活動が長期化し、就活費用などの負担がさらに増加するかもしれないとの懸念がありますが、企業や政府、市民団体が負担軽減のための支援方法を模索することができるかもしれません。オンライン就活イベントの開催で移動を減らすことや一律的なリクルートスーツ着用の廃止、政府や自治体、学生団体や市民団体による就活生のためのゲストハウスの運営などの方法は就活費用軽減の方法の1つになりえます。さらに、インターンを活用したジョブ型の採用に積極的に取り組むことはミスマッチを防ぐ方法の1つになると同時に、新卒一括採用に代わる新しい採用方法となる可能性があります。

新卒一括採用を巡っては賛否両論の議論が続き、新しい採用の形式を議論する過渡期にあるため、すぐに別の制度へ転換することは難しいですが、学生にとって何が最も望ましい採用方法か、どのように負担を最小限にできるかといった視点を取り込んだ議論を行うことで、新卒一括採用よりさらに学生の活躍の可能性を広げられる採用制度を実施・実現できるかもしれません。

キャリア形成における固定観念

キャリアの中断

キャリア観に関して座談会で共有された意見の1つに、ある一定の固定観念がキャリア形成に影響を及ぼしているのでは、というものがありました。キャリア観において、すでに良しとされている固定観念や前提があり、それがキャリア形成の様々な選択へ影響を及ぼしたり、または課題となっているということです。その中で、キャリアの「空白」に対する認識に多数の座談会参加者が共感し、キャリアを形成する中で「空白」ができてしまうこと、組織に所属していないことに不安を感じる人が多くいることを確認できました。 

このような認識の背景には、日本の労働市場の特徴が影響していると思われます。日本では、仕事から離れている離職期間を「キャリアの中断」としてネガティブに捉えられる傾向があります。大学卒業後に入社、そして途絶えることなく定年まで勤め上げるという直線的キャリアが前提になっていることが多く、空白のないキャリアを良しとする慣行の中では、離職からの復職、再就職が不利になってしまうことがあります。

実際、日本の大手就職・転職サイトでは「離職期間は何ヶ月くらいまでなら許されるか」という質問に対して、「平均して3ヶ月、遅くとも6ヶ月以内」というアドバイスを出しており、なるべく「ブランク」を作らないことを注意すべき点として強調、長引く離職期間は採用に不利になることがあるとしています*11。このように、転職市場などでは一般的に不利にならない空白期間を3ヶ月程度と捉えており、実際多くの転職者が短い期間で次の職場へ移ります。厚生労働省が実施した転職者実態調査では、勤め先を離職後、次の勤め先に就職するまでの期間として「1か月未満」が 29.4%、「離職期間なし」が 24.6%、「1か月以上2か月未満」が12.5%となりました*12。この調査から、離職期間を3ヶ月以内に留めている人が半数以上いることがわかります。離職期間が長くなってしまうと復職や再就職の際に不利益を被るのでは、という不安によって労働者は休職・離職を敬遠したり、長期休暇取得さえも戸惑うなど、キャリアに空白ができてしまうことに恐怖を抱いてしまうのです。

この不安は特に女性にとって大きくなりがちです。女性の場合、結婚・出産・育児といったライフイベントによって離職を余儀なくされることがあり、復職や再就職などキャリア形成に関する悩みを抱えている人が多くいます。日本の人材サービス企業によるキャリアに空白のある女性に関する調査では、多くの女性が「育児や出産のため」を理由に退職・休職する現状が明らかになっています*13。また、内閣府の調査では第1子出産を機に離職する女性の割合は46.9%と、依然として高い状況にあることが指摘されています*14。このように女性は特に出産や育児のため離職を経験することが多いですが、離職からの再就職は容易ではありません。厚生労働省の出産・育児等を機に離職した女性の再就職状況について調べた調査では、再就職前に不安のあった人は8割前後にのぼり、「子育てと両立できるか」「仕事についていけるか」などを不安に感じている人が多くいることがわかりました*15。また、再就職活動で苦労したこととして「希望する条件に合う仕事が見つからない」「子どもが小さいため、家族などの支援体制がないと断られてしまう」などが多くあげられています。

再就業時の職務選択の基準としては、仕事内容、やりがい、雇用形態や給与水準を重視すると同時に、柔軟な働き方や家庭への配慮を求める傾向がありますが*16、判断力が必要な仕事や責任が伴う仕事の求人では、フルタイムや残業がある働き方を求めることが多く、様々な要件を考慮した上で採用に至るまでは相当の労力が必要となります。座談会の中でも、結婚や妊娠を考えると応募できる会社の幅が縮まってしまう、また、実際に離職からの就職活動が不利であることを感じたという声が共有されました。一般的にネガティブと捉えられているキャリア中断という状況が、女性により大きく影響を及ぼしていることがわかります。

キャリアの「空白」へ不安を抱える人は女性や転職者だけではありません。座談会に参加したJさんは新卒就職に失敗した時のキャリアの空白を気にかけていたり、Cさんからは、就活時に大学院在籍期間を「ブランク」として捉えられたという経験が共有されました。キャリアを形成する様々な段階で「空白」に対する悩みが存在していることがわかります。

労働市場においてキャリアの空白をネガティブに捉えるという慣行が変化するには長い時間がかかると思われます。ですが、空白に対する評価方法や現在すでに空白に悩まされる方への支援方法を考え直すことで改善を促すことができるかもしれません。特に出産や育児のためにキャリア空白ができやすい女性のための支援方法はさらに改善の余地があります。出産や育児のための離職をキャリアの途絶ではなく、ポジティブに捉える企業風土を醸成しようとする会社が好事例として取り上げられることがありますが、一定の企業だけでなくより多くの企業によって取り組まれるようにしなければなりません。また、労働者の空白に対する不安を払拭するために、人事評価では、勤務時間に比例して設定した成果目標を基準とする評価を取り入れ、休職のために働いていない期間が発生しても、休職や復職後の短時間勤務が過度にマイナスに反映されることがないよう配慮する必要があります。さらに、休職と復職の前後に上司や人事担当者と面談を行い安心して休職を取れるようにすることも大切です。ただし、休職をする労働者だけがメリットを感じる制度になってはいけないため、全ての従業員が不公平感を感じないように配慮した風土や制度にする必要があります。

平均寿命の向上とともに長期化する就業期間によって、働き方、キャリア形成ともに多様化しつつある中、キャリアの空白を一様にマイナスに捉えてしまうことは、これからさらに多様性を目指す個人・社会において障壁となりかねません。キャリアの継続性はもちろん評価されなければいけない部分ですが、「離職=キャリアの中断」というネガティブな慣行から脱し、さまざまな経験やチャレンジができる環境、またその期間を合理的に評価してもらえる環境を醸成する必要があるのではないでしょうか。

 

ジェネラリストの育成

ジェネラリストになるか、スペシャリストになるかという問いは、職業観やキャリア形成に大きく影響を与えます。座談会参加者のFさんはスペシャリスト/ジェネラリストをめぐる問題について、日本労働市場の一般的な傾向について意見を共有してくれました。日本企業が求め、育成する人材像として、スペシャリストよりはジェネラリストに重きが置かれており、このジェネラリストが重宝される傾向は個人のキャリアの選択にも影響を及ぼす可能性があるということです。

日本企業はこれまで、新規学卒者をジェネラリストとして採用し、転勤や配置転換などにより内部育成・昇進させていく「内部労働市場型の人材マネジメント」を主流としてきました*17。そしてその傾向は未だ続いていると言えます。厚生労働省が行なった「働き方の多様化に応じた人材育成の在り方について」の調査によると、「ゼネラリスト・内部人材の育成を重視する企業」が全規模・全産業において39.8%と、最も構成比が高くなっており、次いで「スペシャリスト・内部人材の育成を重視する企業」が33.2%、「スペシャリスト・外部人材の採用を重視する企業」が15.9%、「ジェネラリスト・外部人材の採用を重視する企業」が 11.0%となっています*18

日本企業がジェネラリストを重宝し、育成するという傾向は、「ジョブローテーション(定期的な人事異動)」という人材育成制度からも垣間見ることができます。労働政策研究・研修機構が行なった企業の転勤の実態に関する調査によると、ジョブローテーションについて、「ある」とする企業が53.1%に登り、正社員規模別にみると、規模が大きくなるほどその割合は高くなっています*19。人事異動の頻度については、「3年」が27.9%ともっとも割合が高く、次いで、5年が 18.8%となっています。

異動を重ね、様々な業務を経験できるジョブローテーションは、社内事業を横断的に把握するジェネラリストとしての人材育成に適している制度と言えます。社員側にとって当制度はキャリアパスを描きやすくするメリットがあるとされています。異なる職種を多数経験することで、自分自身の適性を把握できるようになり、自身の意向やキャリア形成の方向性を具体化しやすくなるためです。また、複数の部門や業務を経験することで、多角的な視点を身に付けることで、複数かつ応用力の高いスキルを身に付けることができるとされています。

一方で、目的があいまいな異動や環境の変化により、仕事への意欲が下がってしまったり、異動の頻度が高いことによって、専門性を身に付けることが難しくなってしまう点により、個人のキャリア構築の自由度が下がることもあります。例えば、中途採用の求人表には「3年以上の経験」と書かれていることが多く、1分野に対して2,3年の期間では経験不足と捉えられてしまいます。そのため、経験は豊富だが専門性がなく、転職しにくい人材になってしまう可能性があり、注意すべきとされています。Fさんは総合商社や大手メーカーに勤めている5,6年目の友人の経験談として、「転職を望んでいるが、社外で通用しない知識やスキルばかりが身についており、転職市場で評価されない」、「専門性を突き詰められないまま時間がすぎた」という話を共有してくれました。ジョブローテーションはジェネラリストの育成制度としては有用ですが、転職市場ではジョブローテーションがある企業社員はジェネラリストではなく「社内スペシャリスト」と見られがちであることはジョブローテーションのデメリットの1つと言えます。

終身雇用制度や年功序列が前提として捉えられていた時代は、転職をせず1社で総合職としてスキルアップをし、ジェネラリストとして管理職になるというキャリア形成を目指す若者が多くいました。しかし終身雇用の終焉により、転職を視野に入れてキャリア形成を行う場合は、ジェネラリスト的なキャリアパスより他社でも活かせるスキルを習得する必要があると考える傾向が強くなります。また、AIやデータサイエンス等、デジタル技術の進化などにより、より高度な能力・スキルが求められる時代になるなか、専門知識を身に付けたいと考える若者が増加しています。一般社団法人日本能率協会が行った新入社員意識調査では「一つの仕事を長く続けて専門性を磨きたい」と、スペシャリストを志向する者が6割を超え、年々増加傾向にあることがわかりました。また、「個人が評価され年齢・経験に関係なく処遇される実力・成果主義の職場」で働きたいとする実力・成果主義志向の若者が増え、仕事に必要な能力やスキルを身に着けるために高い学習意欲を持っていることがわかりました。さらに、能力・スキルを身に着ける責任は「個人」にあると考える回答者が9割近くに登っています*20

職業観に変化があるのは労働者側だけではありません。グローバルな経済活動や人工知能などのイノベーションを企業の競争力として組み込むことの重要性が高まっている中、企業側によっても人材マネジメントの方針の変化の可能性が指摘されています*21厚生労働省の調査では、今後ジェネラリストとスペシャリストのどちらの重要性が高まると考えるかという質問に対して、「ジェネラリスト・内部人材の育成を重視する企業」では、引き続きジェネラリストの重要性が高まると答えた企業が多いですが、グローバルな経済活動・イノベーション活動を重視する企業では、スペシャリストの重要性が高まると答えた企業の比率が高いことがわかりました*22。どのような能力を重視するかは企業戦略によって異なってきますが、これまでジェネラリストの育成に偏っていた人材マネジメントの方法に変化が求められていることを表しているのかもしれません。

このような中、企業には労働者の職業観の変化や時代が求めている人材を見極め、ジェネラリストの育成だけでなくスペシャリストにも焦点を当てた人材マネジメント方法を模索することが求められています。新型コロナ感染拡大による雇用情勢の不安定化などによって個人の能力やスキル向上に取り組む若者がさらに増えていますが、ジェネラリストの育成だけでなく、このような高い学習意欲に対してしっかりと成長支援をすることがますます大事になってきます。企業の人材育成方針は個人のキャリア形成に大きな影響を与えるため、会社の育成戦略を押し付けるのではなく、会社の方針と労働者のキャリア形成の目標をすり合わせるコミュニケーションをとった上で、社員のキャリア自律やキャリア形成支援を行うことが求められます。今後、新型コロナウイルスの影響も含めた社会の変化に合わせ、育成のあり方がどのように変化または維持され、どのように個人のキャリア形成に影響を与えるか注視する必要があるでしょう。

生涯学習・ライフロングラーニング

人生100年時代において、専門スキルや人生を豊かにする学びを習得することは、労働市場に入る前後にとどまらず、働いている時期も含めて人々が生涯にわたり学びを得られることが注目されつつあります*23。学びの目的は多岐にわたりますが、厚労省による令和元年「能力開発基本調査」によると、自己啓発*24を行った多くの人は仕事に必要な知識を身につけるために学びを実施していることが明らかです。また、将来的なキャリアアップも理由の一つです。内閣府「平成30年版 子供・若者白書」によると、より良い仕事に就くために就職後も学び続けることを希望しているかどうかについて、「条件が整えば、希望する」と回答した者が53.2%で最も多くなっています*25

座談会でも、労働市場と学びの場を行き来できる機会が今後増えることへの期待が述べられていました。しかし、機会を増やすための課題は様々です。例えば、座談会ではSさんは時間と金銭の問題を気にしていました。長時間労働が続いている仕事では、学びを実践する時間がないだけではなく、そもそも学びについて考える時間さえとることが難しいかもしれません。また、学習にかかってしまう金銭面の負担が重くのしかかり、学習を選択できない状況も生じ得ます。

このような課題は、実際の調査でも明らかになっています。厚労省による令和元年「能力開発基本調査」では、自己啓発を行う上での問題点として、「忙しくて自己啓発の余裕がない」「費用がかかりすぎる」が理由としてあげられていました*26。また、この調査ではワークライフバランスにおけるジェンダー平等の問題も露わにしています。正社員のみの調査結果をみると、「家事・育児が忙しくて自己啓発の余裕がない」の回答が次点となっています。無償の家事労働に時間を費やすことが求められてしまう女性にとって、職場のみならず、家庭内労働にも時間を取られてしまうということです。さらに、企業による支援も積極的には行われていません。JILPTの調査によると、福利厚生としての自己啓発施策に関し、正社員に対する施策実施率は全2,809社のうち3割であり、従業員が自助努力すべきと考えている企業が全体の3割という結果になっており、自己啓発への支援はそれほど重視されていない傾向にあります*27。例えば資格試験の受験費用、テキスト費用、外部セミナーの参加費用など、社外での自己啓発にはお金がかかることが多いことを考えると、金銭的な支援も若年労働者の自己啓発や学びの促進には有効かもしれません。

個人が自己啓発において企業等から金銭面・時間面での支援を得るためには、自己啓発で得た成長や学びが企業等に還元される必要がありますが、企業側にも還元できる場を作る必要があります。目に見えて業務内容に直結する学びに限定せず、幅広い内容も対象とし、評価制度や職場環境に反映させることは、個人が多様な分野に取り組むモチベーションにもなります。このように、労働者のスキルアップが企業利益につながるように工夫していくことは、個人の自己啓発を可能にする環境を作り出します。

また、個人に関する問題だけなく、学びを得る場についても一層の取り組みが求められています。例えば、文科省による平成30年「文部科学白書」では、社会人が大学等で学ぶにあたって、実践的なプログラムが欠如している点が指摘されています。これに対応するために、文科省は「職業実践力育成プログラム」を設置し、社会人が学びやすい環境の整備が進めています*28。最近では、新型コロナの影響もありedXCourseraJMOOCUdemyなど、無料あるいは低価格で全世界の様々な高等教育機関の授業を受けられるサービスも広がってきています。また、ILOでも、責任あるビジネス慣行を実現するための「多国籍企業宣言」について学ぶことができる、新しいe-ラーニングプログラム「多国籍企業宣言(入門編)」日本語版が2020年9月よりリリースされました*29。学びのツールを拡充しつつ、個人が学びと労働を行き来しやすい環境を整備する必要があります。

 

第5章 終わりに

新型コロナウイルスは、ILOのモニタリングや新刊書で指摘されているように、若者の働き方に大きな影響を与えました。しかし、実際の若者のリアルな声を聞いていくと、パンデミック単体で引き起こされた問題というよりも、元からあった問題が地続きで存在し、若者のキャリアに影響を与えていることが浮き彫りになってきました。今回の企画を通して、私たちILOインターンが試みたことは、新型コロナウイルスの影響を特定すると同時に、元から存在していた若者のキャリアにおける問題を改めて整理することだったのです。この整理を通して、日本の若者は、自らキャリアと生活を設計/選択し、その選択の結果が社会に受け入れられて欲しいという考え方を持つ傾向にあることが指摘できるでしょう。また、ハラスメントや長時間労働などの問題からは、今まで「しょうがない」と黙認されてきた問題を「問題である」と認識する人が増えている印象を受けます。

もちろん、今回取り上げた「働き方、ハラスメント、新卒一括採用、キャリア形成における固定観念生涯学習」に関する問題は、第4章で明らかにした内容にとどまりません。また、今回は若者という切り口で整理しましたが、働き方にまつわる様々な課題は、世代を超えて存在しています。これらの課題を改善することは決して容易ではありません。それでも、今回の企画がコロナ禍を経て、より良い仕事の未来につながる何かしらのヒントを提供できていれば幸いです。(第4章で提示したアイデアの要点を以下にまとめました。)

 

最後までご覧いただきありがとうございました!

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20201119183203p:plain

 

*1:厚生労働省(2018)「労働経済動向調査」p.11 

当調査によると、過去1年間(平成29 年8月から平成30 年7月まで)に、新規学卒者の採用枠で正社員を「募集した」とする 事業所の割合は、調査産業計で62%となっています。 また、その募集時期をみると、調査産業計では「春季」(69%)とする割合が最も多く、「年間を通して随時」(22%)、 「春季と秋季」(6%)の順となっています。

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/itiran/roudou/koyou/keizai/1808/dl/roudoukeizaidouko.pdf 

*2:内閣府(2006)「企業の採用のあり方に関する調査」https://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/9990748/www5.cao.go.jp/seikatsu/whitepaper/h18/10_pdf/01_honpen/pdf/06ksha-servay.pdf

*3:サポーターズ(2019)「就活実態調査2019」https://corp.supporterz.jp/news/2019/student_survey

*4:関東平均12万7,664円、地方平均18万2,633円

*5:厚生労働省(2018)「労働経済動向調査」p.11 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/itiran/roudou/koyou/keizai/1808/dl/roudoukeizaidouko.pdf 

*6:厚生労働省(2018)「子供・若者白書 特集 就労等に関する若者の意識」https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/s0_0.html?_fsi=KGGGf9qO

*7:文部科学省インターンシップの推進に当たっての基本的考え方」https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/koutou/sangaku2/1346604.htm

*8:リクルート就職みらい研究所(2019)「就職白書2019」 p.16 https://data.recruitcareer.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/hakusyo2019_01-56_0507up.pdf

*9:パソナ総合研究所(2019) 「就職活動と会社・大学に求めるものに関する学生意識調査」https://www.pasonagroup.co.jp/news/index112.html?itemid=3318&dispmid=798%E3%80%80

*10:リクルート就職みらい研究所(2020)「就職白書2020 https://data.recruitcareer.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/hakusyo2020_01-48_up-1.pdf

*11:例えば、doda「離職期間は何カ月までなら許される?」(https://doda.jp/guide/5min/010.html)、転職グッド「離職期間(ブランク)の平均は?6ヶ月を過ぎると採用に影響が出るの?」(http://jobgood.jp/8183)、マイナビエージェント「転職活動の期間の目安と早期決着のポイント」(https://mynavi-agent.jp/knowhow/period/) など。

*12:厚生労働省(2015)「平成27年転職者実態調査」https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/6-18c-h27.html

*13:アデコグループ(2016)「女性の再就職・復職に関する意識調査」https://www.adeccogroup.jp/pressroom/2016/1222

*14:内閣府(2018)「第1子出産前後の女性の継続就業率」及び出産・育児と女性の就業状況について」http://wwwa.cao.go.jp/wlb/government/top/hyouka/k_45/pdf/s1.pdf

*15:厚生労働省(2015)「出産・育児等を機に離職した女性の再就職等に係る調査研究」p.26 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/koyoukintou/dl/h26-02_itakuchousa00.pdf

*16:同上、p.35

*17:厚生労働省(2018)「平成30年版 労働経済の分析-働き方の多様化に応じた人材育成の在り方について」p.109 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf

*18:同上、p.111 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf

*19:JILPT(2017)「調査シリーズNo.174『企業の転勤の実態に関する調査』」p.7 https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2017/documents/174.pdf

*20:一般社団法人日本能率協会(2019)「新入社員意識調査報告書」https://www.jma.or.jp/img/pdf-report/new_employees_2019.pdf

*21:厚生労働省(2018)「平成30年版 労働経済の分析-働き方の多様化に応じた人材育成の在り方について」p.109 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/wp/hakusyo/roudou/18/dl/18-1-2.pdf

*22:同上、 p.111

*23:リクルートマネジメントソリューションズ組織行動研究所2030 Work Style Project(2013)「オピニオン#6 これからは「個が輝く時代」あまり考え込まずに、どんどん挑戦すべきです」https://www.recruit-ms.co.jp/research/2030/opinion/detail6.html

*24:自己啓発とは、労働者が職業生活を継続するために行う、職業に関する能力を自発的に開発し、向上させるための活動をいう(職業に関係ない趣味、娯楽、スポーツ健康増進等のためのものは含まない。)厚労省「能力開発基本調査 用語の解説」https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/104-23c.pdf

*25:内閣府「平成30年版 子供・若者白書」https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

*26:厚生労働省(2020)「能力開発基本調査」https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/104-01b.pdf

*27:ILPT(2020)「 調査シリーズ No.203【第Ⅰ部】企業における福利厚生施策の実態に関する調査」https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2020/documents/203_01.pdf

*28:https://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/hakusho/html/hpab201901/1420047.htm

*29:ILO(2020)「『多国籍企業宣言(入門編)』e-ラーニングプログラムのご案内」https://www.ilo.org/tokyo/information/pr/WCMS_754779/lang--ja/index.htm

【まとめシリーズ vol.3】コロナ禍に聞く若者の働き方 :コロナ以前から続く問題意識の「見える化」(働き方&ハラスメント))

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828120432p:plain

 これまでのまとめシリーズはこちら↓ 

Vol.1

Vol.2

第4章 コロナ以前から続く問題意識の「見える化

これまで、新型コロナウイルスILOインターン経験者を含む若者に与えている影響を見てきました。しかし、座談会参加者が今後のキャリアについての悩みや障壁を語る際には、パンデミック以前から続いている問題について言及する場面が多く見受けられました。ILOの報告書ではコロナパンデミック以前からも、若者は厳しい労働市場に直面していたとの指摘があります*1。そこで、第4章では座談会参加者のエピソードの中に示唆されている、コロナ以前から若者のキャリアに影響を及ぼしている要素を取り上げます。それらの要素に対する座談会参加者の抱く問題意識がどのようなものなのか、データを使いながら、課題を整理していきます。また、各テーマごとに、コロナ禍を経て今後どのような取り組みが出来るのか、私たちなりに考えたアイデアも提示します。

 

働き方

東京一極集中

座談会参加者のうち、実家や出身が関西と九州である2名からは、東京にキャリアの機会が集中しているという声が上がりました。Sさんは、大学院進学時に東京に引越し、インターンセミナーへのアクセス格差が関西/東京間にはあると実感したそうです。また、福岡に実家があるJさんは、仕事や機会が東京に集中しているため、東京で就職をすることにしたけれども、両親や自分の性格を考えると本当は実家の近くで働きたいと話していました。このような参加者の声は、東京一極集中が若い世代のキャリア構築にどのような影響を与えるのかを示す一例と言えます。

東京一極集中とは、東京都または1都3県(東京都、神奈川県、埼玉県、千葉県)に人口や政治・経済などの機能が集中する現象を指します。国立社会保障・人口問題研究所によると、2015年時点で総人口の28.4%が1都3県に集中しており、今後もこの割合は増加すると予測されています*2。また、2045年までの都道府県別人口推移は、他の46道府県は人口減少が予想される中、東京だけは2015年水準の人口が維持される(100.7%)とされています*3。2010年時点の人口を元にした推計では、2040年に東京都も93.5%に減少するとの結果*4が出ていたことから、2010~2015年の5年間で東京への人口集中が加速したことが分かります。

東京への人口集中の原因の1つとして挙げられるのは、若い世代の流入です。総務省統計局によると、2019年、東京圏の転入超過数は20~24歳が最も多く(7万9964人)、次いで25~29歳 (2万8084人)、15~19歳(2万4485人)となっています*5。まさに、座談会参加者と同様に大学/大学院進学、就職のタイミングで東京に引越しをする若者世代が多いことを示しています。

このような若者世代の動きは、大学や企業が東京に集中していることと関係しています。全国の大学に在籍する学生の4分の1は東京都で学んでおり、1都3県では4割を超えます*6。また、上場企業の本社所在地では、東京都が1823社で全国の半分強のシェアを占めており、上場企業本社数の全国に対する構成比については、2004~2015年の間に、首都圏が5%以上増加しています(逆に近畿圏は5%以上減少)*7。このことから、若者の東京流入は大学進学や就職の選択肢の多さと関係していることが想像できます。

このように、東京には若者世代にとって魅力的な学業と就職の選択肢、そして人との出会いが集中しており、地方と首都圏の差は今後も広がる傾向が続くことが予想されています。ただ、今回の新型コロナ感染拡大により、セミナーやインターン、授業のオンライン化が進んだり、いくつかの大企業はテレワークを新しい勤務形態として取り入れたりする動きが見られます。これらの動きを一時的な処置としてのみ捉えるのではなく、コロナ禍で”実験”できた新しい学び/教え方や働き方の良い点・悪い点を整理しながら、コロナ以前から存在していた問題の解決にどう活かしていけるのかを考えることが重要です。

東京一極集中による問題は、首都圏と地方の機会の差以外にも、首都圏の満員電車や待機児童問題、高い生活費による家計の圧迫などが挙げられます。現段階では、テレワークによって場所に縛られない個人の働き方が注目されていますが、今後はオフィス移転や地方オフィスの機能拡大なども含め、より組織的に人/雇用の分散をどのように実現できるのか検討していくことが必要でしょう。個人の学ぶ/働く/暮らす場所の選択肢が広がることで、自らが望む暮らしを実現しやすくなることをポジティブに捉える若者が多いため、このような議論は今後も活発になっていくことが期待されます。

 

長時間労働

キャリア構築の障壁について座談会参加者に聞いたところ、日本の長時間労働が課題として挙げられました。Sさんは、仕事に労働者が拘束されすぎており、労働者のキャリアチェンジや学ぶ機会を得にくいと感じており、労働者個人と社会全体の双方にとって良くないのではないかと意見を述べていました。

長時間労働の問題は以前より議論され、取り組まれてきました。労働政策研究・研修機構(JILPT)によると、2018年、週49時間以上の就業者の割合は19%と、2000年の28.3%から改善しているものの、欧州諸国に比べ、いまだに高水準であることが示されています*8。このような長時間労働への対策を強化するため、働き方改革関連法が2019年より施行されました。この法律では、残業時間の上限は、原則として月45時間・年360時間とし、臨時的な特別の事情に対しても上限が設定されています*9。特に、罰則も規定された点が改正前と大きく異なる点です。

長時間労働の削減に向けた法整備と統計上での労働時間の減少の一方で、日本の職場における長時間労働に対する評価はそれほどネガティブではないようです。内閣府によると、労働時間が長い人は、「上司や同僚が残業をしている人にポジティブなイメージを持っている」と感じており、「残業や休日出勤をほとんどせず、時間内に仕事を終えて帰宅すること」は、人事評価では考慮されていない企業が最も多いという調査結果が報告されています*10。これは、残業をしない人が評価されにくく、むしろ残業をした方が評価されるという職場環境が存在していることを意味しています。

職場においてはネガティブに評価されにくい傾向のある長時間労働ですが、健康への影響も看過できません。長時間労働メンタルヘルスを毀損する要因となりうることが実証的に認められた他、サービス残業が長くなると、メンタルヘルスを毀損する危険性が高くなることも明らかになっています*11。また、興味深いことに、属性別にみると、男性・40 歳未満・大卒といったグループではサービス残業メンタルヘルス悪化の要因として挙げられる一方、女性や大卒以外の層では金銭対価の有無にかかわらず時間的な拘束が長くなるほどメンタルヘルスが悪化する要因となることも示唆される結果が報告されています。つまり、属性によって長時間労働によってもたらされる精神的なストレスが異なる可能性が提示されています。

長時間労働は若者の離職理由にもなっています。JILPTの調査(対象は調査時点で20~33歳)によると初めての正社員勤務先を離職した理由として、男女双方の2割以上の人が挙げた理由は「労働時間・休日・休暇の条件がよくなかったため」「賃金の条件がよくなかったため」「肉体的・精神的に健康を損ねたため」「人間関係がよくなかったため」であり*12、労働条件や心身の健康が保たれない職場環境が影響していることが分かります。また、現在(離職者は離職直前、勤続者は調査時点)の週あたり実労働時間の平均値は、離職者(男性50.5時間、女性47.2時間)は勤続者(男性45.9時間、女性42.8時間)より約5時間長くなっており、週60時間以上働く人の割合も、離職者(男性24.4%、女性16.8%)は勤続者(男性11.1%、女性6.9%)の約2倍にのぼっています*13。これは、長時間労働が離職と関係していることを示しています。

では、若者が理想とする働き方とはどのようなものなのでしょうか。社会人1年目から3年目までの若者300人を対象にした調査では、若者の9割が理想とする「睡眠」「通勤」「食事」「趣味や自己啓発」の時間を実現するには、勤務時間を実働5.5時間以内に収める必要があるという結果が出ています*14。この結果は極端ですが、生活を重視する姿勢は他の調査でも明らかになっています。ある人材サービス会社の調査によると、20~30代の正社員の約8割が「自分にとって『働く』とは、主に生計を維持するための営利的な活動である」「仕事以外の生活を充実させたいので、仕事はほどほどにしたい」「労働時間ではなく、成果で評価してほしい」と回答しています*15

長時間労働は恋愛や結婚生活にも影響を与えています。長時間労働により、職場以外の人と新しく出会う時間を捻出しにくいため、新しい恋愛を始めにくいという声は座談会参加者からも上がっていました。また、交際を始められたとしても長時間労働の影響は顕著で、1ヶ月の平均残業時間が40時間を超える男女のうち、72%が交際相手とうまくいかなくなった経験があり、69%が結婚相手とうまくいかなかった経験があると答えました*16。これは、恋愛や結婚をしたい若者にとり、長時間労働が障壁の1つとなりうることを示唆しています。

長時間労働は働き手のメンタルヘルス、離職、生活の質、恋愛/結婚にまで影響するにも関わらず、職場の評価環境や労働者自身の意識はその危険性を十分に認識できていない現状があります。また、長時間労働の背景となる業務量の多さや人手不足、マネジメント不足、企業風土をそのままに業務時間のみを削減しようとしても、根本的な解決には結びつかないでしょう。むしろ、サービス残業や、制度と現実のギャップ、残業代カットによる生活苦など新しい問題が増えかねません。コロナ禍での在宅勤務では、「終電」を気にする必要がなくなったため、際限なく残業をしてしまうという新しい課題も出てきているようです。

既に法的規制は新しくなったため、今後は現場での取り組みが重要になってきます。ある研究では、職場リーダーの自発的な長時間残業は部下のワーク・ライフ・バランス満足度にマイナスの影響があることが明らかになっています*17。どうしても残業が必要な時以外は上司が率先して定時に帰るようにすることは、職場全体の残業削減の雰囲気づくりにも有効でしょう。また、テレワークや兼業/副業など働き方が多様化し、お互いが見えないところで働く状況が増えている中、今まで以上に上司と部下、チームメンバー間でのコミュニケーションは重要になってきています。チーム内の仕事状況が把握しやすいよう、個々人の予定や資料、顧客情報を共有したりすることは、チーム内での業務量の分担やサポートにも役立つでしょう。さらに、定期的に個人の業務を全般的を振り返る(評価ではなく)機会を設定することは、特に、業務量の多さなどの悩み事を自分からは言い出しにくい若手にとり、役に立つのではないでしょうか。


出産・育児とキャリアの両立

キャリアを構築する上で、キャリアと出産・育児をどのように両立すれば良いのか、不安の声がいくつか上がっていました。現在、求職活動中のCさんは、出産・育児とキャリアの両立が現実的に考えられている職場は少ないと感じ、産後復帰するためには、出産前から育休制度が整備されている仕事に就かなければいけないと考えていました。研究者を目指すJさんは、先輩女性研究者が妊娠・出産と研究の両立で苦労した話を聞いており、自分にもいずれ生じる問題なのだと話していました。

若者のこのような考えは、現在の働く世代が抱えている問題から反映されています。例えば、内閣府男女共同参画局によると、女性の就業希望者(231万人)のうち、非求職の理由の中では「出産・育児のため」が31.1%で最多となっており、出産・育児が女性のキャリアに大きく影響していることがわかります。更に、正社員でフルタイム勤務を希望する女性は、末子が未就園児の時は約1割、中学生以降は4~5割です。しかし、実際は末子が中学生以降でも正社員フルタイム勤務は2割弱、保育園・幼稚園段階でいったん上昇するも、小学生段階で未就園段階と同等まで落ち込み「非正社員で短時間勤務」が増加することが報告されています*18。子どもの年齢が上がれば、育児と仕事の両立がしやすくなるとは言えない状況が示唆されています。

育児と仕事の両立の難しさには、無償労働(家事・育児)が女性に偏る傾向があることとも関係しています。OECDの国際比較データ*19によると、 1日の無償労働時間は日本男性41分、日本女性224分と女性が男性の5倍の時間を無償労働に費やしていることが分かります。ただ、日本男性の1日の有償労働時間(452分)はOECD諸国の中でもメキシコに次いで2番目に長いことが報告されています。このことから、日本男性の無償労働時間の少なさは、有償労働時間の長さとも関係していると考えられます。 

無償労働の分担に大きな偏りがある一方、性別役割分業意識は近年薄まってきています。男女共同参画局による2016年「男女共同参画社会に関する世論調査*20では、女性の就業継続を支持する考え方が男女共に初めて50%超えになった他、固定的性別役割分担意識は、「賛成」(40.3%)が過去最少になりました。つまり、無償労働の分担をすることに対する意識は高まってはいるものの、男性の有償労働時間が長すぎるために、実質的に分担ができないという傾向があることが読み取れます。

また、職場における制度整備は進んでいます。厚生労働省の調べによると、2017年、育児休業制度の規定がある事業所の割合は、30 人以上の事業所では 93.2%(前年95.3%)となっており、育児のための所定労働時間の短縮措置等の制度がある事業所の割合は、69.6%(前年65.6%)と増加傾向にあります*21。また、「3歳未満まで」に次いで「小学校就学の始期に達するまで」の制度が多いことも報告されており、出産と乳幼児期の育児に対する支援が手厚いことが分かります。

しかし、このような意識変化や制度整備は、若者にも届いているのでしょうか?20~34歳の未婚者を対象とした調査によると、女性だけではなく、男性も対象とした制度整備は進んでいる一方で、制度自体が利用しにくい点や、結局長時間働いている人が評価される点が指摘されています*22。また、内閣府の平成30年「子ども・若者白書」では、16歳から29歳までの回答者のうち、86.2%が「子育てと仕事を両立しにくい職業がある」ことについて、「とてもそう思う」または「まあそう思う」と回答し、次いで、81.4%が「家庭のことを考えると転職や離職が難しくなる」と回答しています*23

他方で、同じ調査では70.4%が「結婚したり、子供を持ったりすると仕事にやりがいがでる」とも回答しており、出産・育児が仕事のモチベーションになることを示しています*24。このモチベーションを活用することで、仕事が家庭生活の犠牲の上に成り立つのではなく、相互にプラスになるような働き方や家庭生活の設計が実現できるのではないのでしょうか。

そのために、まずは、ジェンダー不平等の要因ともなっている無償労働の再配分が必要でしょう。家庭内において家事・育児を一方に負担させるのではなく、お互いのキャリアや仕事状況に応じて配分をすることが重要となります。その際に、例えば家事代行サービスなどを通して無償労働を有償化し、実際に家事・育児にはどのくらいの労力が使われているのかを可視化することも考えられます。そうすることで、パートナー同士で各自の労働時間・賃金を反映した家事労働の再分配をすることが可能になるでしょう。家庭内で役割分担意識を持ち続けるのではなく、ドラマ化もされた漫画「逃げるは恥だが役に立つ」で描かれた家族関係のように、パートナーが対等な関係で無償労働についてコミュニケーションをとることが大切となるでしょう。また、家事・育児を行う訓練を家庭内で実施することも、習慣付けやスキルの習得に有効です。例えば、パートナーと同居し始めた時期や子どもが中高生になった時期に、家庭内で家事・育児の方法を共有する日を設けます。意識的にこのような期間を設けることで、家事・育児スキルの習得にもつながり、担い手としての積極性が芽生える可能性を生み出します。さらに、無償労働の再配分には、有償労働の見直しも必要になってきます。1日の限られた時間の中で仕事をする時間が長すぎると、当然ですが、仕事外で使える時間は自ずと減っていきます。そのため、長時間労働を見直し、効率的に仕事を行い、仕事以外にも使える時間を増やすことは、無償労働の合理的な再配分にもつながるのです。

また、出産・育児と仕事を両立しているロールモデルを作ることも必要だと考えています。CさんやNさんの不安は、両立が困難であることを見聞きしてきたことも影響にあり、両立が現実的に可能であるのかが判断できない状況に起因しているのではないのでしょうか。例えば、整備された制度を実際に活用している、家庭内の無償労働を合理的に配分している、といった実践を実施しているロールモデルが周囲にいれば、このような不安は軽減されるかもしれません。もちろん、このようなロールモデルを増やすことも大事ですが、アプリ等のプラットフォームを使って、ロールモデルと若者が直接的につながれる機会を増やすことで、より具体的に不安の軽減や出産・育児とキャリアの両立に関する実践を若者に提供することが可能になります。

ハラスメント

パワハラ・セクハラなどのハラスメントも課題として座談会で言及されていました。民間企業で働いていた経験をもつFさんは、新人へのパワハラ・セクハラへの認識が不十分である事業所が多いと感じています。更に、パワハラ・セクハラへの耐久性が、個人の能力に結びつけて考えられる傾向を疑問視していました。

職場のハラスメントの現状を数字で見てみると、連合が2019年に実施した実態調査では、ハラスメントを受けたことのある人の割合は、回答者全体の38%と報告されています*25。また、2016年度の厚生労働省の調査によると、過去3年間にパワーハラスメントを受けたことがあると回答した従業員は32.5%(2012年度実態調査では25.3%)となっています*26。更に、都道府県労働局等に設置した総合労働相談コーナーに寄せられる「いじめ・嫌がらせ」に関する相談は2012年度に相談内容の中でトップとなり、引き続き増加傾向にあります*27

ハラスメントに関する相談件数は増加傾向にある中、日本国内での職場でのハラスメント対策は進みつつあります。2019年5月に改正労働施策総合推進法(通称:パワハラ防止法)が成立し、2020年6月より大企業における職場でのパワハラ対策が義務付けられました。この法律により、パワハラの定義が改めて整理されました。しかし、但し書きとして「客観的にみて、業務上必要かつ相当な範囲で行われる適正な業務指示や指導については、職場におけるパワーハラスメントには該当しない。*28」という文言が記載されている点は注意が必要です。ハラスメント自体が被害者の感じ方に依る(同じ人に同じ言葉を言われても、感じ方は人によって異なる等)部分が大きいことを念頭に置いた上で、客観性を判断に組み込まなければ、ハラスメント被害が過小評価される可能性もあるからです。

ハラスメント対策は、法律整備だけでなく、労働者のハラスメントに対する意識を変えていくことも重要なポイントです。連合の調査によると、ハラスメントを受けた人のうち、誰にも相談しなかった人は44%に及んでいます。相談しなかった理由は、「相談しても無駄だと思ったから」(67.3%)が最も高く、「相談するとまた不快な思いをすると思ったから」(20.6%)と「誰に相談してよいのかわからなかったから」(17.0%)が続きました*29。このことから、ハラスメントについて相談することが有効な手段だと思っている人が少ないこと、また、相談する相手がいない職場環境が伺えます。これは、労働者自身の職場でのハラスメントへの理解が不足していることを示唆しています。

ハラスメントは若者の離職や就職活動にも影響しています。連合の調査によると、ハラスメントを受けて離職を選択した20代は27.3%、特に20代女性では33.3%と他の世代よりも高い数字となっており*30、ハラスメントが若手の離職の一因となっていることが分かります。また、同じ調査では20代男性の21%、20代女性の12.5%が「就活中にセクシュアル・ハラスメントを受けたことがある」と回答しており、就職活動への意欲低下や人と会うことが怖くなるといった影響が出ています*31。ハラスメントの中身としては、「性的な冗談やからかい」(39.8%)が最も高く、次いで、「性的な事実関係(性体験など)の質問」(23.9%)、「食事やデートへの執拗な誘い」(20.5%)となっており、採用面接やOB訪問などにおいて、性的なことを話題にされたというケースが少なくないようです*32

一方で、国際的な動向としては、2019年のILO総会にて「仕事の世界における暴力及びハラスメントの撤廃に関する条約」*33が圧倒的多数の支持を受け採択されました。この条約では、インターンや求職者、ボランティアなども保護の対象に含まれている他、場所も職場のみならず、通勤中、メール・社内SNSや社員寮など広く対象としています。このような広い範囲を含んだハラスメントの概念は、就活中のハラスメントの他、在宅勤務の増加に伴って生じている「リモハラ、テレハラ」も含むことができており、国内のハラスメント対策を進める上でも注目すべき条約と言えます。

では、新型コロナの影響で「職場」の定義が急速に広がり、今までには無かった形のハラスメントが発生する中、どのような対策が取れるでしょうか。ハラスメントを相談できる第三者機関と企業が提携し、相談しやすい環境をつくることは有効かもしれません。現状、ハラスメントを受けた多くの人が職場で相談できていない一方で、都道府県労働局に寄せられる相談件数が増加し続けていることから、話した内容が社内関係者に知られないことが担保されている相談機関が必要とされていると考えられます。また、このような機関は、大企業ではもちろんのこと、社内コミュニティの狭い中小企業ではより必要性が高いでしょう。さらに、ハラスメントに対する認識は世代間の差が大きいため、若手がハラスメントだと感じることも管理職以上にとっては「自分たちが受けてきたことよりマシ」なことが多く相互理解が進まないこともあります。その際も第三者の意見を参考にできる環境を整備しておくことは、問題解決の一助になるのではないでしょうか。

 

================================

ここまで読んでいただきありがとうございます!次回Vol.4は、第4章の続編です。まとめシリーズの最終投稿になります。ぜひご覧ください!

 

*1:p.13

*2:国立社会保障・人口問題研究所(2018) 「日本の地域別将来推計人口(平成30(2018)年推計)」p.8 http://www.ipss.go.jp/pp-shicyoson/j/shicyoson18/1kouhyo/gaiyo_s.pdf

*3:同上 p.7

*4:国立社会保障・人口問題研究所(2013)「日本の地域別将来推計人口(平成25(2013)年推計)」 p.6 http://www.ipss.go.jp/pp-shicyoson/j/shicyoson13/1kouhyo/gaiyo.pdf

*5:総務省統計局(2019)「住民基本台帳人口移動報告2019年(令和元年)結果」p.2 https://www.stat.go.jp/data/idou/2019np/kihon/pdf/all.pdf

*6:大和総研(2018)「大学進学にともなう人口流出と地方創生~東京 23 区の大学定員増加抑制が人口流出阻止の切り札なのか~」https://www.dir.co.jp/report/research/policy-analysis/regionalecnmy/20180104_012631.pdf

*7:国土交通省(2019)「企業等の東京一極集中の現状」 p.3 https://www.mlit.go.jp/kokudoseisaku/content/001319708.pdf

*8:労働政策研究・研修機構(2019) 「データブック国際労働比較2019」p.247 https://www.jil.go.jp/kokunai/statistics/databook/2019/06/d2019_T6-03.pdf

同上(2015)「データブック国際労働比較2015」p.202 https://www.jil.go.jp/kokunai/statistics/databook/2015/06/p202_t6-3.pdf

*9:厚生労働省「働き方特設サイト 支援のご案内」https://www.mhlw.go.jp/hatarakikata/overtime.html

*10:内閣府 (2014)「男女共同参画局 ワーク・ライフ・バランスに関する 個人・企業調査」p.10 http://wwwa.cao.go.jp/wlb/research/wlb_h2511/9_insatsu.pdf

*11:黒田・山本(2014)「従業員のメンタルヘルスと労働時間:従業員パネルデータを用いた検証」https://www.rieti.go.jp/jp/publications/dp/14j020.pdf

*12:JILPT(2019)「調査シリーズNo.191『若年者の離職状況と離職後のキャリア形成Ⅱ(第2回若年者の能力開発と職場への定着に関する調査)』」p.104 https://www.jil.go.jp/institute/research/2019/documents/191_03.pdf

*13:同上、p.117

*14:パーソル プロセス・テクノロジー(2017)「若者の理想の働き方調査を実施若者の8割は「残業ゼロで成果を出すタイプ」が理想の上司」https://www.persol-pt.co.jp/news/2017/08/09/1858/

*15:リクルートマネジメントソリューションズ(2017)「調査レポート 長時間労働に関する実態調査ー20~30代正社員の月の平均労働時間に関する実態と意識」https://www.recruit-ms.co.jp/issue/inquiry_report/0000000582/

*16:パートナーエージェント(2017)「長時間残業で恋愛や結婚生活がうまくいかなくなった経験者は約7割!「交際を諦めて仕事に集中」(15.5%)、「転職した」(9.2%)人も」https://www.p-a.jp/research/report_83.html

*17:渡辺・山内(2017)「職場リーダーの長時間労働が部下のワーク・ライフ・バランス満足度に及ぼす影響:病院に勤務する看護職における検討」https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jsha/54/2/54_65/_pdf/-char/ja

*18:男女共同参画局(2020)「令和2年版 男女共同参画白書http://www.gender.go.jp/about_danjo/whitepaper/r02/gaiyou/pdf/r02_gaiyou.pdf

*19:OECD Employment  : Time spent in paid and unpaid work, by sex https://www.oecd.org/gender/data/time-spent-in-unpaid-paid-and-total-work-by-sex.htm

*20:男女共同参画局(2016) 「共同参画 2016年12月号」p.3 http://www.gender.go.jp/public/kyodosankaku/2016/201612/pdf/201612.pdf

*21:厚生労働省(2018)「平成 29 年度雇用均等基本調査」p.14 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/list/dl/71-29r/03.pdf

*22:ニッセイ基礎研究所「若者の現在と10年後の未来~働き方編-「働き方改革」の理想と現実のギャップ、アフターコロナに期待」https://www.nli-research.co.jp/files/topics/64268_ext_18_0.pdf?site=nli

*23:内閣府「平成30年版 子供・若者白書」https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

*24:内閣府「平成30年版 子供・若者白書」https://www8.cao.go.jp/youth/whitepaper/h30honpen/pdf_index.html

*25:日本労働組合総連合会(2019)「仕事の世界におけるハラスメントに関する実態調査2019」https://www.jtuc-rengo.or.jp/info/chousa/data/20190528.pdf?50

*26:厚生労働省(2017) 「職場のパワーハラスメントに関する実態調査」 https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/0000163573.html

*27:厚生労働省 職場のいじめ・嫌がらせ問題の予防・解決に向けたポータルサイト「あかるい職場応援団」 https://www.no-harassment.mhlw.go.jp/foundation/statistics/

*28:厚生労働省(2020)「職場におけるハラスメント関係指針」https://www.no-harassment.mhlw.go.jp/pdf/symposium_siryo_2.pdf

*29:日本労働組合総連合会(2019) 「仕事の世界におけるハラスメントに関する実態調査2019」p.5 https://www.jtuc-rengo.or.jp/info/chousa/data/20190528.pdf?50

*30:同上、p.7

*31:同上、p.8-12

*32:同上、p.9

*33:ILO駐日事務所 「2019年の暴力及びハラスメント条約(第190号)」https://www.ilo.org/tokyo/standards/list-of-conventions/WCMS_723156/lang--ja/index.htm

【まとめシリーズ vol.2】コロナ禍に聞く若者の働き方 :ILOインターン経験者が直面しているコロナの影響の「見える化」

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828120432p:plain

これまでのまとめシリーズはこちら↓

【まとめシリーズ vol.1】コロナ禍に聞く若者の働き方:はじめに&ILO調査から見る、新型コロナウイルスが若者に与えた影響

 

第3章 ILOインターン経験者が直面しているコロナの影響の「見える化

ここまで、ILO報告書に示されている新型コロナウイルスによる若者への影響を概観しました。

ILOの調査は世界中の若者が抱える課題の全貌を明らかにしましたが、私たちはさらに「若者」を細分化し、調査対象となっている若者一人一人が、キャリアを構築する上でどんな状況にあり、どのようなことを感じているのかを詳細に知り、その声を届けたいと思いました。そのため、ILO現役インターン及び経験者の8名と計3回の座談会を開催し、コロナ危機の中で各個人が直面している状況を共有、キャリアに関する意見を交換する時間を持ちました。

ここからは、ILO報告書で明らかになったことを踏まえ、若者一人一人がどのような状況に面しているか、座談会で共有されたそのリアルな状況を紹介していきます。

座談会参加者紹介

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828122644p:plain
大学院在学中、専門は国際人権法。大学卒業後から、研究者を目指すために大学院にて研究を継続。日本生まれ・日本育ちの外国籍であることから、日本の外国人問題にも関心を寄せる。今年から留学予定。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828122647p:plain

大学院在学中、専門は人間の安全保障。韓国生まれだが、幼少期から日本で過ごす。宣教師である父の影響を受け、幼い頃から国際協力に関心を寄せる。来年からコンサルティング会社で就職予定。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200828122654p:plain

大学卒業後、イギリスの大学院にて開発教育・グローバル学習の修士号を取得。その後、人材育成/エグゼクティブコーチングを扱う企業を経て、現在、ILOインターンとして労働問題を勉強中。今年からパートナーの駐在先である南米に合流予定。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174523p:plain

国際協力実務家。大学卒業後、民間会社で勤務。その後、協力隊員としてマダガスカルで2年過ごし、イギリスの大学院にて国際開発学の修士号を取得。帰国後、ILOインターンを経て、現在は有期雇用職員としてコートジボワールで勤務。第1次産業と民間企業の連携に関するプロジェクトを担当し、プロジェクトの軌道修正やモニタリングなどに従事。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174530p:plain

大学を卒業後、一旦就職し、その後イギリスの大学院にて修士号を取得。帰国後は、自分の専門分野である移民労働者支援などの事業を行っている会社や団体をメインに求職活動中。その傍ら、国際開発業務関連のアルバイトにも従事。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901174536p:plain

大学院在学中。モロッコをフィールドに、格差、貧困、不平等、それらの再生産について、特に教育の場に重心を置きながら研究。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901184624p:plain

金融機関勤務、新卒1年目。法学部を卒業後、労働政策、労働法、政策の定量分析を勉強したいと考え、公共政策大学院に進学。現在は金融機関に勤務し、幅広い視野を持って金融関連の業務ができることに魅力を感じている。オンラインでの新人研修真っ最中。

f:id:ILO_Japan_Friends:20200901184634p:plain

弁護士。労働法が好きで、大学院で団体交渉義務違反を研究しながら、所属する弁護士事務所では弁護士として使用者側から新型コロナウイルス関連の相談やその他株式やM&Aなど金融関連の業務も担当。自らを発信していくことの大切さを感じ、最近ではSNSを通して積極的に発信中。

雇用

ILOの8月の報告書は、コロナ危機が世界中の若者の労働市場に劇的な影響を与え、雇用問題がかつてない深刻な状況にあることを明確に示しました。18-29歳の若者の6.9%はすでに職を失い、10.5%は雇用されていても実質の労働時間がゼロになったと報告、合計17.4%が仕事をなくしている状態にあり、これは6人に1人が働くことができていないことを示しています*1若者の失業のほとんどは、企業の廃業や解雇によるものであり、パンデミック発生後に失職した若者の約半分(54.0%)が、その理由として、勤めていた企業が閉鎖されたか、解雇されたかのいずれかを挙げています*2

座談会の参加者にも、このような問題を抱えている若者がいました。CさんはILOインターン修了後に、すぐに2ヶ月間の業務委託勤務を予定していましたが、コロナの影響により1ヶ月間の勤務に変更されてしまいました。また、転職活動中にコロナ危機に突入したため、活動に大きく支障が出ているということです。

Tさんも、同様の問題に直面しています。Tさんは、国際協力実務家として第1次産業と民間企業の連携に関するプロジェクトを担当し、有期雇用職員としてコートジボワールで勤務しています。契約上では、2021年12月まで駐在の予定だったのですが、コロナの影響で日本に一時帰国せざるを得ませんでした。プロジェクトの現場に行けず、いつ戻れるかも定かでない中、今後の計画や給与に大きく影響が出ています。 

大学院生のKさんは、夏に予定していた研究のための現地調査が中止になってしまいました。研究上では現地調査が重要な位置を占めているため、現地に行けないとなると、向こう数年間の計画を大きく変更しなければいけないとのことです。

コロナによる影響は、すぐに就職や雇用に関連する問題として現れてはいませんが、今後の雇用に影響を及ぼしうる状況を生み出しています。ILO報告書は多くの若者、特に学びの場から職場への移行期にある若者が、前例のない規模の労働市場リスクに晒されていると警鐘をならしていますが、その背景には若者のこのような状況があるのではないでしょうか。 

労働時間の減少と収入 

雇用の問題とともに特に顕著に見られる課題は、労働時間の減少とそれに伴う収入の減少です。報告書によれば、仕事をしている若者のうち約37%の回答者に労働時間の減少が見られ、労働時間の減少があった若者のうちの約78%には、約42%の賃金減少が見られています*3

座談会では、勤務期間が短縮してしまったCさんはもちろん、一時帰国を強いられたTさんもまた、給与に影響が出ていることを話されました。コートジボワール駐在中は現地手当が支払われますが、日本にいる間は手当を受けることができません。そのため、給料がコロナ前の約3分の1になってしまいました。特にTさんは在学中、学費を返済型奨学金で賄っており、卒業後奨学金返済の義務を抱えている身として、余波を大きく受けているといいます。

収入減少による生活への影響は、Jさんにも現れていました。Jさんは研究の傍、生活費、特に毎月の家賃の支払いのためにアルバイトをしてきましたが、勤務先が一時閉鎖し、数ヶ月間アルバイト分の収入がなくなってしまいました。それでも家賃は支払い続ければならないので、それまでの貯金を切り崩してなんとか生活してきましたが、もし貯金がなくなってしまったらどうすれば良いか、勤務先に感染者が出るなどして再度閉鎖になってしまったらどうしたら良いか不安が残るといいます。

報告書による、教育を受けている若年労働者のうち、収入が少ない人は学業を終えることができないかもしれないし、また、失ってしまった仕事の経験や収入は補うのが難しいかもしれない、という危惧は、まさにこのように一人一人が瀕している状況に現れています。

労働時間の増加

労働時間に関連する負の影響は、労働時間の減少だけでなく、増加という逆の方向にも現れています。調査対象の若年労働者の17%が、1日の労働時間が7.3時間から10.3時間に増加したと報告しているためです。このグループのうち、3 分の 2(67%)が 1 日 10 時間以上働いていると報告しています。報告書は、若年労働者の30%がパンデミック発症後に収入が減少したと回答していることから、収入の減少を補うために長時間労働をしている可能性があると指摘しています。

一方では、在宅勤務、テレワークなどに切り替わったことによって長時間労働になりがちという声もあります。Fさんはインターンスタート後にテレワークへ切り替えましたが、テレワークではプライベート時間との切り分けが難しく、働きすぎてしまうことがあると語りました。若年労働者だけでなく、テレワークのデメリットの1つとして長時間労働になりやすいことを指摘している人が多くいることから*4、労働時間の増加の原因としてテレワークがあることは否定できません。調査では在宅勤務とデジタルプラットフォーム、または他の形態での勤務を区別していませんが、労働時間が増加しているという若年労働者の報告は、仕事からの切り離しが困難であることを示唆しており、注視すべきとしています。

ジェンダー

報告書によると、雇用、収入減少や自己評価生産性におけるジェンダー間の差は、大部分、若者の男女の職業の違いやその他の社会経済的要素によってもたらされています*5。この調査は高等教育を受けた若い男女の状況を反映していますが、若い男性は失業や労働時間の減少、収入減少により影響を受ける一方、若い女性は自己評価生産性がより低い傾向にあります。雇用形態(公/民間)と主要な職業グループ(ISCP-08)に沿って、同年齢の若い男女を比較すると、ジェンダー間の差は、収入減少では3分の1(37%)、労働時間の減少では2分の1(53%)、失業についてはほぼ見られないほど(98%)に減少しました。一方、自己評価生産性に関してのみ、ジェンダー間の差は有意に確認されました(9%)。この結果には、家事やケアの増加などの仕事以外の要素が影響している可能性があります。また、労働力調査の結果は若い女性の労働市場の見通しはこのコロナ危機により深刻な影響を受けたことを示しており*6、過去の経済危機の調査からは、景気の低迷が及ぼす影響が男女で異なることもわかっています*7。そのため、新型コロナウイルスジェンダーにおける影響を理解するためには、更に詳しく調べる必要があるでしょう。

座談会の中では、男性の参加者が1名しかいなかったこともあり、パンデミックの影響のジェンダー間の差については話題に上がることはありませんでした。しかし、コロナ禍以前から抱えている女性側の悩みは解消されることなく、引き続き不安要素となっているようです。このテーマについては第4章で詳しく見ていきます。

働き方

パンデミック下、約4分の3(72%)の若年労働者が部分的、または、完全に在宅勤務をしていると報告されています*8。管理職(82%)、専門職(77%)、技術職(78%)の若者は、事務職や営業、その他の職種(54%)よりも在宅勤務をしている割合が高く、民間部門で働く若者(68%)の方が、公共部門の若者(77%)よりも在宅勤務をしている割合が低いことがわかりました。若い女性(75%)の方が若い男性(68%)よりも在宅勤務をしていることが報告されています*9

座談会参加者も、コロナ禍で在宅勤務を一部、または、完全に取り入れていると回答していました。弁護士のOさんは、2月からリモート、緊急事態宣言解除(2020年5月25日)後は週2でオフィスに出勤する日々を過ごしています。コアタイム出勤(10時出勤16-17時前に帰宅)と在宅を組み合わせて仕事を続けているそうですが、仕事は家でもできるという気づきが大きかったと在宅勤務に肯定的な意見を持っていました。一方、金融機関勤務、新卒3か月目のSさんは、現在新人研修を全てオンラインで実施しており、今後、出社する上で生じる変化への不安があるとのことでした。 

更に、現役インターンは3月から完全在宅勤務へと切り替わったこともあり、リモートに対する様々な意見が交わされました。Jさんは最初から最後までリモートでインターン期間を過ごしました。当初は顔も知らない職員と仕事をするにあたって、非常に気を遣ったことや、通常のインターンであれば得られるはずであった新しい人々との繋がりが全く享受できていないことに残念な気持ちを表していました。NさんとFさんは最初の1か月間はオフィスに通い、その後完全在宅に移行したことから、仕事の仕方の変化に戸惑ったといいます。一方、Fさんは、リモートワークの良かった点として、上司との密なオンラインコミュニケーションを挙げ、会えなくなるからこそ、ちゃんと機会を設けることがより重要だと述べました。

教育と訓練

報告書では、教育と訓練を修了することが難しいと若者が予測していることから、キャリアの見通しは不確かさ(40%)と恐怖(14%)に満ちていることが明らかになりました*10。これは、学校や学ぶ場の閉鎖が若者の社会的な接触を奪っていることと関連すると見られています。

現役インターンのNさんも2020年秋からの留学を予定していましたが、渡航が難しくなり、年内の授業は全てオンラインに切り替わりました。教育の機会は確保されたものの、留学先での就職までを視野に入れていたため、今後のキャリアに対する不安が生じていると述べていました。

しかし、新型コロナ危機や学校閉鎖の状況下に置かれていても、約半数の若者は新しい学びの機会を獲得しています*11。調査対象の44%、その中でも、高等教育を修了した若者の53%がパンデミックの始まりから新しい勉強を始めています。多くの若者は特定の職業に関する、または、技術的なスキルを向上させるコースを受講している(54%)一方で、その他様々な学びの機会(外国語、ICT、コミュニケーションスキル、問題解決、チームワーク)にも関心を示していることが報告されています。

座談会参加者のOさんは留学によるスキルアップを考えていましたが、パンデミックにより、その予定を変更せざるを得ない状況に置かれています。しかし、Oさんは留学は手段の1つであったとして、別の方法を探す事に意欲を見せていました。

 

以上、ILOの報告書で示されている数量的データとして若者の声と、ILO駐日事務所のインターン経験者8名のリアルな声を重ね合わせることで、パンデミックによって影響を受けている若者が直面している具体的な状況に目を向け、整理しました。雇用問題や収入減少、労働時間の増加、ジェンダーに起因する今後のキャリアへの不安、在宅勤務への移行、そして、予定していた教育機会に関する変更など、座談会参加者がこのコロナ禍で経験している問題や変化は、ILOの報告書で示されていた事柄と重なる部分が多くありました。このような点から、ILOの報告書で示された新型コロナウイルスの若者への影響は、ILOインターン経験者もある程度共有していると言えます。ただ、その状況の背景には様々な個人的な事情があることや、状況自体の捉え方も多様であることも同時に分かりました。

 

================================

ここまで読んでいただきありがとうございます!

Vol.3では、第4章で座談会参加者のエピソードに示唆されている、コロナ以前から若者のキャリアに影響を及ぼしている要素を取り上げ、これらの影響を乗り越えるためのアイデアを提示していきます。ぜひご覧下さい!

*1:ILO(2020) "Youth&COVID-19: Impacts on Jobs, Education, Rights and Mental Well-being”, https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/documents/publication/wcms_753026.pdf, p.13

*2:同上、p.18

*3:同上、p.19

*4:2019年3月に東京都産業労働局によって公表された「多様な働き方に関する実態調査(テレワーク)」によると、在宅テレワーク経験者が感じているデメリットの上位に「長時間労働になりやすい」が挙げられています。https://www.hataraku.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/hatarakikata/telework/30_telework_tyousa.pdf

*5: p.19

*6:ILO (2020) “Preventing exclusion from the labour market: Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis” https://www.ilo.org/emppolicy/pubs/WCMS_746031/lang--en/index.htm

*7:Rubery, J. and Rafferty, A. (2013) “Women and recession revisited. Work, employment and society”, 27(3), pp.414-432.

*8:p.20

*9:この男女差の30%は、サンプル中の男性が女性よりも民間部門(在宅勤務の環境整備が公共部門よりも整っていない)で働いている傾向にある事に起因しています。

*10:p.26

*11:p.26