The central government is planning to ramp up investment in education and skills training to attract laborers from developed industries into sectors with solid future growth prospects.

It aims to accomplish this through actions such as expanding career consultations for workers and encouraging them to get side jobs.

The move comes amid concerns that Japan is lagging behind other countries in investing in human resources development, and that workers are not moving into these areas quickly enough.

The government is seeking to boost labor productivity and make workers more aware of opportunities in these developing industries, such as the digital industry, regardless of whether they currently work for companies in those sectors.

It will be part of a soon-to-be drafted action plan for realizing what Prime Minister Fumio Kishida calls “new capitalism.”

The government has already announced a policy package of investments worth 400 billion yen ($3.2 billion) over three years until fiscal 2024 to help move workers into these key growth sectors by supporting skills development for non-regular workers and others.

It will also consider additional budgetary measures.

In particular, it is looking at setting up a system in which workers can consult with an expert about changing careers and transferring jobs within their current companies.

The government will consider enticing workers to do this through offering a subsidy they would become eligible for once they consult with an expert outside of their company.

One person related to the government said the policy “will help individual workers think about what they want to do and boost their career to the next level over the next 10 to 20 years.”

The new policy is being driven by a sense of crisis that Japan’s labor force is not moving into these growing industries fast enough.

Japanese companies mainly concern themselves with on-the-job training, while workers have little opportunity to develop specialized knowledge separately.

According to one government document, the cost of training that Japanese companies conduct outside of normal work is only about 0.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is far behind other developed countries.

The action plan will include a pledge that the government will at least double human resources investment as soon as possible, to do things like support training where workers can learn specialized skills needed in growing industries. And it aims to further increase those investments.

The administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also came up with a plan to shift workers into growing industries as part of its growth strategy.

Starting from fiscal 2014, the Abe administration greatly expanded a subsidy system that supports employment agencies commissioned by companies to support re-employment of workers.

It was one of the administration’s major policies.

But it was revealed that employment agencies had used the subsidy to advise companies to reduce redundant personnel, and the government responded by tightening the requirements to obtain the subsidy.

Because of all this, the system was not widely used.

The Kishida administration is meanwhile expected to revise the guidelines set up by the labor ministry for promoting side jobs and spare-time occupations.

The revision will suggest companies disclose information, such as whether they allow employees to have second jobs or spare-time occupations and under what conditions.

It will include a statement that says opening up a business in stages through a side job is more likely to lead to success, and allowing employees to get second jobs or spare-time occupations is a benefit to companies because it will help alleviate staffing shortages.

According to a government survey, the larger the size of a company, the more cautious it feels about allowing its employees to work second jobs.

But the government is revising the rules in part to encourage major companies to allow employees to get side jobs.