BANGKOK • Thailand's Labour Ministry plans to organise a training programme for Thais who want to work as caregivers for the elderly in Japan, after law changes in that country prepare to open the industry to foreigners, reported the Bangkok Post.
Last November, Japan passed laws on nursing care that will allow foreign workers to fill jobs as carers for the elderly from next year onwards.
Department of Employment director-general Theerapon Khunmuang said on Wednesday that the Department of Skills Development is designing a course for Thais on caring for the elderly.
The three-month course will teach skills necessary for caring for seniors, he said, adding that participants will be required to work as apprentices at a registered caregiver for a month.
Under the programme, which expects to draw more than 400 participants this year, Japanese language training will also be included, he said.
Mr Wiwat Jiraphanvanich, the department's deputy director-general, said those who want to work as caregivers for the elderly in Japan are also required to attend the Technical Intern Training Programme provided by the Japan International Training Cooperation Organisation (Jitco). However, details of the training, including the length of the course, have yet to be settled by Jitco.
Mr Wiwat said Japan plans to set up an organisation to monitor foreign workers who work in Japan.
The authorities are also working on the protections and benefits which these workers should receive.
Language barriers make it difficult for foreign workers to enter the nursing care field in Japan, Mr Wiwat said.
But the strong points for Thais are that they are friendly, kind and caring - qualities that are considered vital for the job, he said.