Many Japanese firms turning to one-day internships to secure new grads


To secure new graduates in buyers’ market, an increasing number of companies are introducing one-day internship programs for job-hunting students.

This is because Keidanren, (Japan Business Federation), the nation’s biggest business lobby, has scrapped the five-day minimum for member firms’ internship programs aimed at students graduating in spring 2019 and later.

According to job information provider Mynavi Corp., 75.2 percent of the companies in Japan, including small firms, have accepted students under one-day internship programs.

Keidanren’s related guidelines allow member companies to offer job seminars for students from March 1 and hold interviews with them from June 1. But the rule is believed to be a dead letter.

As of the beginning of May, 42.7 percent of job-seeking university students had secured informal contracts, a survey by job information and staffing service firm Recruit Career Co. showed. Many of the informal offers are believed to have been from companies that are not members of Keidanren.

Internships are meant for students to gain work experience, but one-day internship programs are said to be the same thing as job seminars and linked to the selection processes.

“Work experience programs in name only create unnecessary confusion and burdens for students,” an official of the Japan Association of Private Universities and Colleges said.

Accepting students under internship programs that are similar in nature to job seminars or selection processes before the job seminar and interview starting days runs counter to the Keidanren guidelines, the official said. The association comprises 124 private universities and colleges in Japan.

In the meantime, an official of a nonlife insurer with a one-day internship program said, “We increased opportunities for students to better understand our jobs so that mismatches do not occur after hiring.”

The company’s one-day internship program “has nothing to do with” its graduate selection process, the official said.

A major job information website last week started accepting applications for internship programs by students graduating in spring 2020.

Japanese firms may accelerate moves to secure new graduates by taking advantage of one-day internships or other measures, as the job market is expected to continue to be favorable to students amid the ongoing labor shortage, pundits said.