The rise of the English-speaking service worker
The Japanese government has a plan. That plan is to increase tourism in Japan before 2020.
The Japanese government has a problem. That problem is the population is a rapidly aging population.
This brings us to the rise of the English-speaking service worker.
Firstly, the plan. The increase in tourism brings with it also an influx of tourists- tourists who are intimidated by Japanese-speaking only shops and services. Tourists who find them inaccessible and choose instead to go somewhere else. In an effort to accommodate for the many visitors to Japan, many service professions are now looking for English-speaking staff. From retail, hotels and restaurants to specialty hobby and tourism based services, English is more in-demand than ever, and will only continue to be as more travellers fall in love with this wonderful country of ours.
Secondly, the problem. With an aging population, and a low birthrate, the Japanese government has highlighted the challenges on both the healthcare and aged care systems, as well as on the working population. Difficulties include caring for the elderly, with care jobs becoming less popular amongst working youth, as well as increased stress on the pension system, which means workers will be forced to work longer before retirement.
Luckily, there is a solution here- the government has begun actioning proposals to allow more care workers to come to Japan, as well as eased visa restrictions to ensure a sizeable population paying into the social taxation systems. What this means is an increase in direct care jobs as well as English service jobs to facilitate the day to day lives of the migrant workers – real estate, government work, legal services, facilitation services, travel and lifestyle services.
Through the combination of these factors, we can predict that the future for English speakers who want to enter the service industry is looking especially bright. The future is not just English teachers, but an English speaking community.