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2008年12月 1日 (月)

内定取り消し―若者の未来を裏切るな 「来春から働いてもらうから」

2008/12/1 --The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 29(IHT/Asahi: December 1,2008)

EDITORIAL: New 'employment ice age' coming?

内定取り消し―若者の未来を裏切るな 「来春から働いてもらうから」 

Dozens of companies in Japan have cancelled job offers to students graduating next spring amid a deepening business slump. Should companies be allowed to break their promise to employ students on graduation just because of an economic downturn?

 そういう学生たちとの約束を、企業がこれほどあっさりと、ほごにしてもいいものか。 

With only a few months until their graduation in March, at least 331 university and high school students are facing unilaterally canceled job offers. Since the health of the nation's economy is deteriorating rapidly, the number of job-offer cancellations is likely to increase in coming months.

 卒業まで数カ月となったこの時期に、少なくとも331人の大学生や高校生らが、いったん決まった採用の内定を一方的に取り消されていた。景気の悪化は深刻で、内定取り消しはまだまだ増えそうな気配である。 

Until last year, companies in Japan were eagerly scouting for talented students in a tight labor market. But that was then. The employment picture has changed dramatically over the past year.

 いい学生を採りたいと企業が走り回っていた昨年までの売り手市場は、もはや見る影もない。

If the trend continues, the job situation for new graduates could become as bad as it was about 10 years ago, when Japanese students faced what was dubbed an "employment ice age."

このままいくと「就職氷河期」と呼ばれた10年ほど前の水準に戻りかねない状況だ。 

We hear stories about students who were given money by companies as apparent compensation for canceled job offers.

 採用を取り消すかわりに金を渡された。そんな話も聞こえてくる。

Some companies even pressured students to decline the job offers they had just received, saying they would not be assigned to the sections of their choice and therefore had better look for positions elsewhere.

内定式を終えたばかりなのに、「入社しても希望の部署にはいけない。就職活動を再開した方がいい」と、内定の辞退を迫られた学生もいる。

These students have been betrayed, so to speak, by society just before they head out into the world.

社会人として歩み始める直前に、世の中から裏切られたようなものだ。 

Many companies have already finished the process of recruiting students due to graduate next spring. For students who have been told the jobs they were offered are no longer there, it is by no means easy to find positions at other companies.

 来春に向けた採用活動を、すでに終えた会社が多い。今さら「内定はなかったことに」と言われても、これから就職先を探すのは容易ではない。

This is a serious setback for the students because in Japan a person's career tends to be greatly affected by which company he or she joins right after graduation.

 まして日本は、卒業時の就職先によって、その後の職業人としての生涯が大きく左右されがちな社会なのだ。 

In some of the cases, job offers were withdrawn because of the bankruptcy of the companies. But some students apparently received nothing but a written notice that only said they would not be hired after all, without offering a detailed explanation.

 会社の倒産で、やむなく内定が取り消された例もある。だが十分な説明もないまま、紙切れ一枚で通告された人もいるようだ。

We wonder if these companies made a serious effort, doing everything possible to make good on their promises.

そういう企業は、ぎりぎりまで努力をしたのだろうか。 

The cancellation of a job offer is deemed to be an annulment of a labor contract and is highly likely to be judged illegal unless there is sufficient justification.

 内定の一方的な取り消しは労働契約の解除にあたり、合理的な理由がなければ違法とされる可能性が高いのだ。 

What is now more important than anything else is to provide as much support as possible to students who are suddenly facing the prospect of unemployment.

 今はなにより、就職先をなくした学生たちを、できる限り支えなくてはならない。 

Students who have been informed of the retraction of the employment offers should consult with their schools or other organizations about the problem instead of suffering in silence.

 内定を取り消された学生は黙って泣き寝入りをするのではなく、まず学校などに相談しよう。

If they receive a request for advice on this issue from a student, universities, high schools and "Hello Work" government-run job-placement offices should study the case carefully to determine whether the cancellation is justifiable. If they see any possible problem with a company's behavior concerning this issue, they should question the company and, if necessary, strongly demand it take corrective action.

相談を受けた大学や高校、ハローワークは、内定の取り消しが妥当かどうか、しっかり見極めるべきだ。もし疑念があれば企業に問いただし、必要ならば厳しい申し入れや指導をしなければならない。 

These institutions should also act as intermediaries between the students, who are in a weak position, and the companies, helping with the negotiations and discussions of the problem.

 立場の弱い学生と企業の間に立って、取り消しをめぐる交渉や話し合いも進めてほしい。

In addition, they should also help the students find new jobs while exchanging information with one another.

そのうえで互いに情報を交換しながら、学生たちの新たな就職先を探してもらいたい。 

Any act of stupidity that can disrupt the future lives of young people is totally unacceptable. And that's not just for the sake of the students.

 将来ある若者の人生を振り回す愚行は避けねばならない。それは学生たちのためだけではない。 

During the nation's prolonged economic downturn in the 1990s, companies sharply reduced their annual recruitment of new graduates.

 不況に見舞われた90年代、企業は新卒者の採用を絞った。

As a result, a huge number of young people failed to acquire full-time positions. Many people belonging to this generation have since been struggling to find stable jobs.

その結果、正社員になれないたくさんの若者が生まれ、その後も安定した仕事になかなかつけない世代ができた。

To prevent the same situation from developing again, companies should act in a responsible manner. They must not plant any more seeds of discontent and disillusionment in this society.

 そんな事態を再び招かないよう、企業には責任ある態度を求めたい。世の中にこれ以上、不満や失望の種をまいてはいけない。

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