LEWI Research

Temporary labor migration and skill transfer in Japan: Migration experiences and outcomes of technical intern trainees from Vietnam and China  

Dr Kaxton SIU

We interviewed Vietnamese and Chinese technical intern trainees who went to Japan under Japan's Technical Intern Training Program (TITP). We showed how Vietnam's and China's temporary labor-export institutional arrangements differed, and contributed to the two countries’ intern trainees having varied migration experiences and outcomes. We also explored the reasons TITP failed to achieve its stated objective—international skill transfer. Guided by human capital theory, we attempt to make sense of the different migration expectations and experiences of Vietnamese and Chinese trainees under different institutional arrangements and contribute to the debate of temporary labor migration and international skill transfer. We argue that the government of a temporary migrant labor-sending country must exercise sufficiently good socio-technical infrastructural governance to steward labor-export policy and industrial policy to match national development goals in order to make international skill transfer possible.


Kaxton Siu and Anita Koo


Hong Kong Polytechnic University Research Funding


In Progress