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Survey: Okinawa students want to live and work here

Date Posted: 2008-06-26

The majority of students in Okinawa want to have employment in the Prefecture following completion of school.

A survey by the Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau to determine mismatches between available jobs and potential employees’ qualifications revealed 60% of the 3,889 students polled say they don’t want to leave Okinawa to find a job. Only 17.8% of the respondents said they’d like to leave, and 1.3% said they want to work and travel overseas. The remainder told pollsters they don’t really care where they work.

Researchers say “Okinawan companies have very weak points, like new worker training systems, and no regular workers,” making it difficult for young people to find good jobs. “Most workers are part time workers,” the survey says, “and Okinawan companies go out of business and close too easily.” The report notes 98% of the companies in Okinawa are small or middle size, which tends to reduce wages.

In the past, most students told researchers they hope to get public employee jobs as teachers, city office workers or civil service positions. That’s changed, the General Bureau says, as the younger generation shies away from government jobs. Only26.2% of those surveyed said they’d like to work in a government public service job.

The majority, 55.8% of students, say they want to work for private companies. An ambitious 4.6% say they want to create their own companies. Asked “What if the job doesn’t fit, or mismatches work with your education?”, most respondents said “I will quit and get a new job.”

The Okinawa Prefecture General Bureau says there’s a strong reason why most students want to stay in Okinawa following graduation. “It’s because their parents want students to stay near them,” the report says, “because parents are worried about their children.” The quandary is that the better jobs are located outside Okinawa, but if young people don’t get good ones, “they can’t live a good life, so parents want their kids to stay at home.”

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