10,000 IT engineers and the mission to connect Vietnam and Japan

VietNamNet Bridge – Under the program BridgeSE, FPT Software aims to bring 5,000 young people to Japan for training.

10,000 IT engineers, FPT software, software outsourcing for Japan

Nikkei said this program is particularly important and it can become a bridge between the two countries, particularly when China has long been the largest outsourcing market for Japan.

BridgeSE will train software engineers who understand Japanese language and Japanese culture. They will assume the mission of learning requirements from Japanese firms and transmit the information to the engineers who cannot speak Japanese and manage the software development process.

Currently, most software engineers of FPT Software – a leading software firm in Vietnam -- do not understand Japanese, so to get more contracts from Japanese partners, the role of BridgeSE is indispensable.

FPT Software's plan is to train 10,000 software engineers by 2018, from 700 at present.

"If the program is successfully implemented, it can be compared to a cooling rain for Japan's IT industry which is lacking talented resources to serve the integration of the large-scale system of tax code and general social security of financial institutions in Japan," Nikkei said.

Of the 10,000 engineers, half will study in Vietnam while the other half will go to Japan and participate in the seven-month Japanese course. The first partner of FPT Software is Meros Language Institute (Tokyo, Teshima). FPT will gradually send its trainees to the academy, starting with 50 in April, 200 in July and 250 in November 2015.

"We want to accelerate Japanese learning through the living environment and communication entirely in Japanese," FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh said.

The director of the Meros Language Institute, Ms. Junko Kagawa, said she hoped that Vietnamese students "can also learn the rules of business and culture of Japan."

The Academy aims to train Vietnamese students with extensive knowledge and proficiency in Japanese, up to the "N2" level of the Japanese language proficiency exam.

The remaining 5,000 people will attend Japanese courses in Vietnam and will gain experience and practice their Japanese in Japanese companies after becoming BridgeSE engineers.

FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh urged Vietnamese IT firms to join this program in order to "strengthen the capacity of the entire IT industry in Vietnam".

He said this is a great opportunity to accomplish the dream of young people who wish to work in IT companies of Japan.

The entire living expenses in Japan (about $14,400) will be paid by the trainees. FPT will combine with local banks to lend trainees with tuitions. The amount of $14,000 is equivalent to the salary of bridge software engineers working for Japanese IT companies for 1-2 years.

In the future, if students can find a job in Japan, it is not necessary to return the entire amount, FPT said. The company will set up a mechanism under which the employers will pay the training cost for the staff after clarification of certain conditions.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Doan Xuan Hung, said this plan "links the development of Vietnam - Japan", and on behalf of the Vietnamese government expressed support for with this plan.

Currently the largest outsourcing market for Japan is China. Their cooperation, however, in recent years has been stagnant due to dramatically increased labor costs. Meanwhile, the advantage of Vietnam is the competitive price.

The salary of an IT engineer in Japan is at around 200,000 to 300,000 yen ($1,700-2,500) per month. In Vietnam, it is only 20-40%. In terms of product quality control, the costs are also cheaper, 40-60% compared to Japan, and 30-40% compared to China.

"The problem is only the Japanese language. But this weakness is expected to be overcome through the 10,000 BridgeSE training program," Nikkei said.

S. Tung

10,000 IT engineers, FPT software, software outsourcing for Japan