Part-time and contract workers in the manufacturing sector get less training than their permanent, full-time colleagues, raising concern that young people may not be gaining enough skills, according to a government report.

While 59.8 percent of regular employees get opportunities to train for other types of jobs, only 20.2 percent of part-time and contract workers are given the same chance, the white paper says, citing the results of a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey.

As there is a growing trend of diverse working styles, particularly among young people, manufacturers are urged to make their part-time and temporary workers permanent, the paper says.

Firms should also have systems in place so all workers can have equal access to training.

The fiscal 2006 white paper on manufacturing was compiled by the labor ministry; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; and the Ministry Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The paper also says that in the global marketplace, manufacturers are dividing jobs between different economies according to function. This trend is most noticeable among East Asian economies.

China is one country that has emerged as a market where Japanese manufacturers are not only assembling products but also developing them, it said.

Men get more to spend

Male white-collar workers in Japan get an average of 45,400 yen a month to spend on entertainment from their households, up 4,800 yen from the prior year for the second consecutive yearly rise, GE Consumer Finance Co. said in an Internet survey report Thursday.

Only 7.2 percent of the respondents to the survey reported an increase in their allowances, while the amount was unchanged for most of them, GE Consumer Finance said.

The Internet survey of 500 male office workers conducted in early May by the Japanese consumer finance unit of General Electric Co. found that 50.2 percent of the pollees receive less than 40,000 yen, while 10 percent reported more than 100,000 yen.

The desired amount averaged 73,900 yen.

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