What kind of job do you want to do in the future? Perhaps an athlete or police officer, or maybe you might want to work at a cake shop or bakery? In Japan, there are work experience facilities that let children get a real hands-on feel for a wide range of jobs. Through work experience, you can appreciate the interesting nature of jobs and you can imagine the kind of person you want to be in the future.
Many Different Facilities That Give You a Hands-on Experience in Your Dream Job
What is your dream job? In Japan, rankings are published every year regarding the types of occupation that children want to take up in the future. In the results for 2020, the top choice among new first grade elementary school boys was “athlete” and the second choice was “police officer.” Meanwhile, the top choice among first grade girls was “patissier or baker.” Also, 2020 was the first year for “YouTuber” to make it into the top 10. (Source: Jobs That Japanese First Graders Want to Do in the Future, Kuraray Co., Ltd.)
Jobs like athlete and baker have been popular among Japanese kids for a long time. However, with new occupations like YouTuber entering the rankings, we can understand the trends of the times based on these results.
Japan has many different work experience facilities that let children get a hands-on feel for their dream jobs. The purpose of these work experience facilities is to help children imagine in detail what they will be like as an adult in the future by experiencing real work. These facilities also aim to help children understand that there is a wide range of jobs that support the society we live in; not just flashy or glamorous professions.
At work experience facilities, you can wear work uniforms and get a hands-on feel for work in an environment that looks just like a real workplace. In some locations, you can receive virtual currency as payment that you can only use within the facility after your work experience, with stores that give you a taste of what it is like to go shopping with the money you have earned. In your first ever work experience session, you are sure to be a little nervous but you will have an exciting time. What’s more, you can appreciate how interesting and fun work is, and you can grow as a person.
The Police Museum Lets You Experience Work as a Police Officer, a Popular Occupation Among Boys
One particularly popular occupation among boys is being a police officer. In Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, there is a museum where you can learn about the history of police officers and the details of the activities that they do.
This six-story building has a different theme for each floor, and the exhibit areas on the fifth and fourth floors are worth a look in particular. These areas showcase the history of police officers and introduce many events that happened in real life, so you are sure to get a feeling for how important and cool police officers’ jobs are. Apart from this, there are other exhibits such as uniforms for police officers who actively work in a wide range of locations, hands-on sessions for riding police bikes and helicopters, and opportunities to watch movies in a theater featuring police officers in active service. With all this and more, you can learn about this profession in a fun way.
The other floors are home to an area that demonstrates the nature of activities conducted by police officers in service, an area where you can find out about police officers’ work, an area where you can learn about security information that helps us in our lives, and much more. There is an infinite amount of information to be learned.
By spending a whole day having fun here, you are sure to appreciate the fact that many police officers are working hard every day so that we can live with peace of mind on a daily basis. You may also feel gratitude to the people who serve as police officers, and you might even gain a much stronger desire to become a police officer and protect the streets.
KidZania Lets You Experience Work as a Baker, a Popular Occupation Among Girls
Japan has facilities where kids play the leading role as they experience a wide range of jobs.
You can also get a feel for how it is to be a baker, the profession that ranked first place for girls’ dream jobs.
In these facilities, you can even bake real croissants on your own—a sweet, pleasant smelling treat loved by everyone. Why not work hard to make croissants for customers using all of your five senses?
This bakery experience not only lets you bake real bread; you can also learn about the ingredients used for these foods, such as wheat flour and yeast. Your parents or friends are sure to be surprised if you tell them what you have discovered in these hands-on sessions.
Kandu Lets You Experience Work as a YouTuber, a New Popular Occupation
YouTubers take on challenges to make interesting projects to post on video sites. This profession is very popular among kids in Japan, and made it into the top 10 jobs that children want to take up in the future. There is even a facility that lets you experience work as a YouTuber as well.
In YouTuber work experience sessions, you can try doing the whole process from filming a video to editing it. You can take up popular projects to post on video sites, such as a game to guess what is inside a box, or trying to say tongue-twisters, and film yourself as you say fun things and make funny reactions. You can use full-fledged editing software to add sound effects and decorate the screen. Finally, you can take the video you filmed and publish it on a video site.
In the YouTuber experience session, you need to think about what you can do to bring enjoyment to people. You are sure to find it pretty difficult when you try to do the things in other YouTubers’ videos that you have fun watching on a regular basis. After you engage in a YouTuber work experience session, you may gain the ability to watch YouTubers’ videos while considering what approach you would take for each video.
Ms. Ito is a staff member who works with children every day at a work experience facility. She talks as follows about the appeal of hands-on YouTuber sessions:
“With YouTuber work experience sessions, you can develop the expressive abilities to carry out a performance that suits your own character. Even kids who are not good at speaking in front of others will work really hard to demonstrate their unique qualities when they participate in a hands-on filming session. These abilities are sure to help out when making a presentation on something for school or work, too.”
Work experience facilities not only let you learn about jobs, but they also allow you to get payment based on the work you do in the hands-on sessions and you can use this payment for shopping inside the facilities. In this way, these facilities replicate some of the systems in real-life society. You can even see kids acting like people in the world of grown-ups as they check the prices of the things they want and then select a job to do in the hands-on experience based on these prices.
Apart from discovering more about work, you can also appreciate the value of money and the difficulty involved in earning it. Many moms and dads express the following kind of opinion about these sessions: “I think that it is a good lesson for kids to be able to experience working hard in a job and receiving payment for it. I am happy that my kid has shown interest in a wide range of professions.”
Work experience does not just let you imagine what it would be like to work in the future. By gaining knowledge from many different fields and getting a hands-on feel for work, you can also discover a new side to yourself that you never noticed before, letting you make yourself shine even brighter going forward.