After a week of lectures at JACAC, the main event is at the end of the week when each of the 7 groups presents on the topic to the larger consortium including esteemed guests and judges. The last time I can remember presenting to a group like this one was in first year at the Coordinated Arts Program conference, and even then Montreal’s Consul General to Japan didn’t show up and shake my hand at the end of the event like he did this time around! Our group, ‘Roku Rocks’ created our name out of a language play on words. In Japanese ‘six’ is roku, which also is the word for rock. And in English, it’s common slang to say that something ‘rocks’ / is awesome. So Roku Rocks was born!
Julia, studying Biomedical science from Queens, Hiro studying International Development at Ritsumeikan University, Natsumi studying Gender Studies at Tsuda College, and myself studying English Lit and Asian Migration to Canada were all part of group six, which was really cool because of the diverse backgrounds: culturally, academically, and generally!
- Work and experience opportunities through education (co-op, internships, project based courses, volunteering)
- in Japan, volunteering isn’t as highly valued as it is in Canada. Students are often evaluated on the basis of their potential (ie- their foreseeable ability to stay with a company for a long time). In doing so, students lack access to job exposure or real experience in the field they are interested in.
- interdisciplinary exposure amongst students to expand exchange of ideas
- promoting exchange programs at schools which supports learning of soft skills or immeasurable ‘qualitative training’
- equal promotion of the types of post-secondary options to students beginning in high school/ uni but also in the home
- Employers supporting internships for students (perhaps subsidized by the gov’t)
- Participating in education through job fairs/ career talks at school
- Acting as job-clients for project-based courses which allow students to brainstorm and propose solutions to a company’s case study or problem
- Rotation system for new employees
- In Japan, this system is used to allow employees to get a good understanding of how a company functions as a whole and by individual sectors. Employees will be exposed to a variety of skills training, and will choose an area they are interested in. Employee retention is likely to increase if employees are happy with where their working, and employers won’t have to waste time training for a position that an employee will vacate eventually.
- Employers supporting lifelong training of employees who are interested in upgrading their skills to remain competitive in the job market or even just relevant in the job market
As the world continues to modernize in the age of globalization, the world continues to act in a fluid manner: cultures colliding, industries collaborating, languages mixing, the list goes on. We are becoming ‘globalized individuals’, but I almost would suggest that we need to move beyond an individualistic mindset and consider how we can be global citizens: people who are unified as being a member of the world, being responsible to each other and society at large. This kind of thinking is quite different from traditional ideas about how society should function and ‘prosper’, mainly with goals of economic success and stability. Seems pretty individualistic. In Japanese, hatarakigai refers to the mindset that work should be fulfilling beyond a monetary sense. One should achieve wholehearted satisfaction for the work that they are doing, including personal fulfillment that isn’t only driven by $$. A shift in a societal mindset is obviously a large and complex process that won’t happen overnight. But with the proposed solutions, overtime hopefully this kind of thinking might shift starting on a personal level, and moving to be more widely influential.