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Information technology is beginning to be widely used at “silver human resources centers” across the nation that help elderly people find work.

Designed to enhance convenience and make office operation more efficient, the centers make use of fiber-optic networks and asymmetrical digital subscriber lines.

The centers use the broadband fiber-optic networks to connect headquarters and branches virtually cost-free through Internet protocol telephony, and also send out job-placement information to potential recruits via cell phones.

As of September, there were 1,766 centers throughout the country with about 720,000 registered elderly members, according to the National Silver Human Resources Center Association, and the hope is to rapidly increase membership in the next few years.

Nomura Research Institute, a prominent Japanese think tank, has delivered computer systems to more than 680 centers. It has also developed a next-generation system called Ageless 80 Advance, which it started supplying to centers in April, including in Kawasaki and the city of Saitama.

The system enables centers to accept membership registration via the Internet. It also incorporates a browsing function that permits corporations looking for workers to see the number of elderly job-seekers registered with human resource centers, listed according to their skills.

Some say further enhancement of the computer system will be needed to improve support activities and lessen paperwork at the various resource centers, whose membership is expected to surge as postwar baby boomers reach retirement age.

The new system was largely created to make it easier for center personnel to handle clerical work and administer information on human resources.

Directions to workplaces can be posted on the center’s Web site, and it is possible to attach digital photos of accomplished work so that potential employers can check job-seekers’ work via the Net.

The system also allows corporations to send recruitment information directly to members’ e-mail addresses.

The new system is useful, according to Yuji Yamakawa, deputy chief of the elderly job center in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, because members’ photos can be registered, making it easier to confirm faces and names.

Some see personal computers and cell phones equipped with cameras playing greater roles in the future in linking the centers and those wishing to register their names, as more retirees start looking for work.

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