Opportunities for Thai People as Specified Skilled Workers in the Food Service Industry in Japan: Challenging Possibilities

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Kamolthip Phonlabutra


This study examines the opportunities and challenges of working in Japan with a Specified Skilled Workers-1 (SSW-1) visa and requirements, including the Japanese language proficiency test (N4/JFT-Basic) and Food Service Industry Skills Proficiency Test. The study found that: 1) There are a lot of opportunities for Thai people to work in the food service industry in Japan under an SSW-1 visa because the current number of SSW-1 workers in this category is only about 10% of the admitted maximum number; 2) Japanese language proficiency plays a critical role in passing the JFT-Basic, the Food Service Industry Skills Proficiency Test, and communicating with Japanese companies; and 3) The lack of communicative competence in the Japanese language can lead to financial challenges in paying recruitment agency to support the application process until starting to work in Japan.

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