What is the Technical Intern Training Program?

About TITP Program

Technical Intern Training Program is a training programs conducted by Japanese government with an objective to transfer skills, technologies, or knowledge accumulated in Japan to developing countries and other regions to promote international cooperation by contributing to the development of human resources. The program is NOT designed to fill up the gap of labor shortage by hiring young workers from less fortunate countries for little more than what they earn in their home country.

History of TITP Program

1993-2009 TITP under Trainee visa
TITP was first was introduced in 1993 to assist the development of human resources in developing countries by providing work-learn opportunities in Japanese entities. Based on the program’s objectives, TITP trainees were given the visa status “Trainee” which restricts the purpose of foreign visitors to “Non-work, educational purposes” only, thus leaving TITP trainees outside of the jurisdiction of Labor Standards Act.

Soon after the establishment of the program, Japanese government realizes that TITP Program was not only wrongfully operated as a guest-worker program to fill the labor shortage gap, but also as a loophole to hire work force without labor protections.
During this period, the program was revised and amended several times with various precautions and preventions to protect the trainees, though the impact remained limited and it continued to be criticized for exploitation of foreign workers.

2009 Introduction of new visa status: Technical Intern Training (i) and (ii)
In 2010, Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act ( “Immigration Control Act” ) was partially revised and the government has announced new visa status “Technical Intern Training (i) and (ii)” to stabilize and secure legal status of TITP trainees under the Labor related laws and regulations.

By this major modification of the program and additional paper works, legal obligations and expenses for the implementing companies, total number of TITP trainees were expected to drop.

Though instead the number continued to expand.

Number of TITP visa applicants since introduction

RASSCA, as a licensed supervising organization is in no position to state the reason why.

During this period, the government begun to discuss ways to bring in foreign manpower as a method to ease Japan’s labor shortage.

2017 Major Modification of TITP Program

Until 2017, TITP Program was screened by a private organizer JITCO ( Japan International Trainee and Skilled Worker Cooperation Organization ). While JITCO conducted on-site supervision for TITP training, it had no legal authorization to enforce necessary measures against unlawful implementing entities.

In 2017, the Japanese government established an authorized legal entity OTIT ( Organization for Technical Intern Training) to act as “The TITP watchdog”, to Protect vulnerable TITP trainees by lisencing, auditing, screening, and investigating if necessary, of Supervising Organizations, Sending Organizations and Implementing Companies.

Another change was the introduction of the visa status Technical Intern Training (iii).

It opened up the possibility of the program expansion up to five years for the TITP trainees with passing score on their National Trade Skill Test & Certification Grade 3 Test (practical), along with Supervising Organizations and Implementing Companies scoring excellency in OTIT evaluation.

2021 Current Situation
While the true intent of TITP program remains controversial, the environment surrounding TITP trainees has changed drastically since 1993.
Now legal enforcement power and procedures to address and prevent mistreats have been established. The training procedure of each TITP program are carefully screened by Supervising Organizations and audited by the OTIT. Other legal and non-legal entities including JITCO, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are also behind the program to support and protect the TITP trainees.

What is a Supervising Organization ?
Supervising Organization is a term used for Supervising entities responsible for accepting Technical Intern Trainees.

Permits for supervising entities are granted to nonprofit organizations such as regional chambers of commerce and industrial cooperatives to ensure that the Technical Intern Training at each Implementing Organization is performed appropriately.

RASSCA as Supervising Organization, take every possible measure to protect our trainees from any form of mistreats, discrimination or abuse. We work hard to maintain close relationship with TITP trainees to make sure that they are safe, secure and in good health mentally and physically. We also maintain close relationships with our member companies.

Some of the rules to follow as a Implementing entities

  • Unless the Implementing organization own a running business which has a close relationship in Japan, TITP must be applied via supervising organization.
    (Technical Intern Training ActChapter1-Article2-(2i) )

  • The amount of remuneration paid to a technical intern trainee shall be equivalent to or greater than the amount of remuneration paid to a Japanese national for similar work, and other treatment of the technical intern trainees shall conform to the criteria provided for by an ordinance of the competent ministries.
    (Technical Intern Training Act-Ch8-Article9(5ix)

  • TITP trainees must be treated according to Labor Standards Act, meaning not to engage in discriminatory treatment with respect to wages, working hours or other working conditions by reason of the nationality, creed or social status.
    (Labor Standards Act Ch1-Article(2)Equal Treatment))

  • All working conditions, housing arrangement, and other expenses of TITP trainees must be filed upon application to the program.
    (Technical Intern Training Act Chapter II Article 8 (2(ix)) )

  • Must agree to accept periodic auditing conducted by the Supervising Organizations. Any breach of the TITP operating guideline may lead to deprivation of the license.
    (Technical Intern Training Act Chapter25.Ch42)

  • Upper limits on the number of technical intern trainees depending on the size of the Implementing company.
    (Operational Guidelines for Technical Intern Training Program)

  • Training period extension from 3 to 5 years for Supervising Organizations and Implementing Company with excellency
    (Operational Guidelines for Technical Intern Training Program)

Few rules for the candidates of TITP program:

  • Must be over 18.

  • Application must be made via Licensed Sending Organizations in their country.

  • Applicants must either have minimum required training experience in the subject field, or have good reasons other than job-seeking upon their application.

  • Must learn Japanese in credited schools for more than 360 hours.

  • Can NOT change the implementing organization unless the company in breach of obligations or has other appropriate reasons (ie.bankrupcy).

  • Have plan to work in the field of TITP program after the training period.