“I developed a strong sense of isolation at my workplace and even thought of dying,” he told the Asahi Newspaper. “I have not been able to work for the last 6 years because the thought of communicating before I apply for a job stops me.”
Sato was one among 100 Neets who shared their personal experiences at a conference held on Nov. 23, hosted by Osaka’s prefectural government.
A Neet usually refers to a person aged between 16 and 24 who has left school and/or college, but has failed to secure a job or placement in some kind of vocational training. However, at the Osaka conference, these Neets were between the ages of 15 and 39 years.
The aim of the conference was to enable them to return to society.
“We wanted to hear directly from Neets about the challenges they’re facing in finding jobs, so we could create a social support system that would enable them to return to society,” officials said.
Osaka prefecture has approximately 50,000 Neets, while there are more than 600,000 nationwide, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Yuta Harada, 24-year-old participant at the conference, said, “I changed jobs a lot of times after I graduated from high school. My first boss corrected me a lot because my business manners were impolite. I left the company because I did not like him correcting me all the time, and changed jobs a number of times afterward.”
He added that he knows now that he was wrong and is willing to listen to the advice from a superior and wants to start over again.
Another participant at the conference said, “It would be helpful if we can speak with companies in a casual and relaxed environment before the formal interview process, so that we would not be rejected solely on the basis on what is written on our resumes.”
He noted that it would be a great source for some of them to offer flexible working hours.
Some Neets offered different suggestions. For example, the term “Late Bloomers” would be a good replacement for “Neets,” because people have such a negative image of it.
Many conference attendees agreed that it was encouraging to hear other peoples’ experiences as well, and most said they wanted to work again.
The Osaka prefectural government plants to organize another meeting with a non-profit organization that support Neets in December, and in addition to a joint conference with support groups and private corporations in January.