Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Inaugural Australia-Japan Young Professional Exchange Network

Inaugural Australia-Japan Young Professional Exchange NetworkAnastasia Govan sent me her report from the Inaugural Australia-Japan Young Professional Exchange Network. A version will be published by the ACS, but in the interim, here are some edited highlights. Apologies for any errors I may have introduced:


The Australia Japan Foundation and Professions Australia worked together to facilitate Australia's young professionals to build long term collaborative relationships with their Japanese counterparts.

A delegation of young professionals took part in The Australia-Japan Young Professional Exchange Network to Tokyo from 13th- 17th November 2006.

The Australian Computer Society nominated Anastasia Govan, Australian Computer Society Board Director Young IT to Professions Australia for the Australian Young Professional of the Year award. Anastasia was successful and as Young Professional of the Year joined the exchange.

The objective of this initiative was to:

  • Advance Australian professional and business interests in Japan through support of a young professionals network that will initiate a range of activities (including study tours, workshops and conferences, exchanges, joint projects, participation in FTA-related discussions
  • Promote discussion sharing of ideas, and promotion of each countries interests
  • Build constructive and mutually beneficial relationships between young professionals in Japan and Australia (includes support of individual projects)
  • Engage business, the professional services sector, professional associations and their members as important stakeholders
  • Establish a dialogue on important cross professional and specific professional issues and to achieve Japanese counterpart support for the initiative
  • Identify a profession specific project to progress with Japanese candidates

Overview of ICT climate in Japan

  • Linux uptake is huge in Tokyo

  • Large commercial viability for consultancy and market infiltration of products supporting digital repositories, content management, workflow, Records/knowledge/electronic document management

  • Australia should consider investing in the large and popular ICT buildings such as Sony and BIC Camera in Japan and Computer Centres in Chaing Mai and Bangkok where any computer related hardware, software and peripherals can be purchased on multiple floors

  • IT and Finance were reported as the most difficult professions for women to enter and remain

  • In the last 10 years since the Japanese recession there has been an increase in the number of small businesses - particularly started by younger generation

  • There are large differences with the business etiquette of the older generation (traditional) to Gen Y (westernised)

  • Multi national companies may view English speaking westerners favourably for ICT with many recruiting firms set up to specifically meet this market and assist with working visa's etc.

  • Current ICT shortages in all areas

  • Development area is developing gaming for phones using java - requirement to speak Japanese

  • To acquire a working visa for ICT you need 10 years relevant work experience and a Bachelor or higher degree

  • It takes minimum 6-8 weeks to recruit a foreigner

  • Hospitalisation rates due to work related stress are high

  • Many foreigners enter to work in Japan as English teachers in the hope of finding work in their specialist field

  • Numbers are decreasing in ICT University courses - have very few mature age' Australian equivalents

  • Technologists are called Engineers along with several other separate professions in Australia

  • Recently held first ICT Career Fair in Tokyo

  • Free Trade Agreement negotiations based upon US FTA which has further ramifications for Australians complying with copyright in digital form

  • Trend is moving towards more temporary positions and hiring first through a recruitment agency before taking on ICT employee permanently

  • Knowledge of business etiquette

  • Knowledge of Language

  • Claustrophobia!!

  • Young professionals are often older than 35 years of age and male

  • Difficult to identify female and young professionals as really need to be introduced by a colleague


Digital Eve Japan

Over the last 10 years the Digital Eve group has grown from 8 to over 700 members. DigitalEve Japan promotes women's digital lifestyles by offering a supportive community and programs tuned to women using IT in their workplace and in their everyday lives.

The members are Japanese and foreign women living in Japan who span a wide range of ages, technical and cultural backgrounds, and lifestyles. Many work in technology-related jobs, such as web designers/producers, programmers, videographers, writers, information architects, content developers, graphic designers, project managers and recruiters, or are seeking jobs in the field.

Digital Eve's mission is to;

  • Empower members to become top-level leaders, professionals, role models and mentors in their fields through the understanding and use of technology.
  • Build, on all levels, an effective networking resource including strong technology industry relationships.
  • Create an international, bilingual community to share technology experiences and cross-cultural understanding.
  • Include all women--of all races, ethnicities, economic levels, ages, languages, abilities and lifestyles--as participants in our community.
  • Offer access to resources, information and a community-based network for women.
  • Develop low-cost, readily accessible educational opportunities in digital technology.
  • Encourage women and girls to pursue technology-related careers.
  • Advocate that women have economic, social and cultural equality in the field of technology
  • Promote positive, balanced working conditions and lifestyles for women using technology in the workplace.

National Institute of Informatics

As Japan's only general academic research institution seeking to create future value in the new discipline of informatics, the National Institute of Informatics (NII) seeks to advance integrated research and development activities in information-related fields, including networking, software, and content.

These activities range from theoretical and methodological work to applications. As an inter-university research institute, NII promotes the creation of a state-of-the-art academic-information infrastructure (the Cyber Science Infrastructure, or CSI) that is essential to research and education within the broader academic community, with a focus on partnerships and other joint efforts with universities and research institutions throughout Japan, as well as industries and civilian organizations. Founded in April 2000, the NII marked its new beginning in April 2004 as a member of the Research Organization of Information and Systems.

Ringo MUG (AppleMac group)

Tokyo's English speaking Mac User Group meet monthly at the Apple Plaza in the IT centre of Ginza and share information on life with a Mac or PC in Tokyo by meeting in person, through RSS feeds and bulletin boards online.

Skillhouse Staffing Solutions K.K.

Skillhouse Staffing Solutions K.K. (Skillhouse) provides specialty staffing services focusing on Information Technology (IT) and Administrative Support.

By focusing resources on these two specialty areas, Skillhouse are able to apply our best-of-breed due diligence, testing, qualifying and matching methodologies to ensure our clients have the best talent available to them.

Become Japan

Founded in 2004 Become Japan is an web based ebusiness assisting people to make ideal shopping decisions through provision of research, product and price comparison search engines.

Embedded Technology Conference

Embedded Technology 2006 is the largest trade show and conference for embedded system designers and managers. It introduces advanced technologies and solutions for emerging embedded applications, including digital consumer electronics, automotive, wireless/ubiquitous computing and factory automation.

  • Trianz: Indian consulting company merging into Japan market
  • Telelogic Japan (Telelogic lifecycle solutions:software change, requirements management and configuration management - delivering lifecycle control of your software assets being used by Westpac in Australia)

Australian Resource Centre, Australia Japan Foundation, Australian Embassy

The Australia-Japan Foundation, established by the Australian Government in 1976, contributes to the bilateral relationship by playing a strategic role expanding relations and understanding between people and organisations from both countries.

The Resource Centre operates a full on-line lending service available throughout Japan. It also houses a unique online database of over 1200 academic papers about Australia, in Japanese. The library runs a Salon Seminar series, provides materials on Australia to schools free-of-charge, and is a key contact point for Australian Studies scholarships and activity in Japan.

Links to other ICT groups

Suggestions for the Japan to Australia Young Professional exchange 2007

  • Invitations to NII researchers and young professionals to take part in a 2007 exchange to Australia

  • Japanese counterparts and the 2006 Exchange participants attend/present paper at the 2050 Conference

  • Japanese counterparts attend/present paper for the 2008 Sydney International Young IT Australian Computer Society Conference, present to associations such as Australian Library and Information Association and Australian Computer Society as part of their National education across the nation presentation.

Feedback on future Australia to Japan exchanges

  • Introductory business etiquette and language course by local Japanese community group/s before making contact for prospective meetings

  • Previous years exchange delegation involved in mentoring/providing leads for the new delegation maybe done during the proposed workshop of previous Australian delegates and current Japanese delegates in each country

  • Each year rotate professions taking part - possibly include Librarian, Records Manager or Archivist next year (only RMAA is a member of PA).


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