In a bid to address the short supply of digital talent in its home market of Japan, Dentsu has created a training and development company called Dentsu Techno Camp. The new unit is a joint venture with Evolable Asia Co. and is being set up in Vietnam with a planned start date of April 1.
With sharply increasing demands for digital services from clients, Dentsu said in a statement that there are “concerns over the dwindling number of programmers, system engineers and other developers in the Japan market, which continues to experience a declining birthrate and aging population, making retention of human resources an issue.”
For years, Japan has been plagued with a shortage of employees to fill the workforce needs of many industries, including marketing and advertising. That has put pressure on companies and on existing personnel to work sometimes excessive overtime hours, in some cases so extreme that the amount of overtime work has been cited as at least partly the cause of some suicides in the country.
Dentsu itself has been embroiled in a so-called “death by overwork” scandal over the past year that culminated in late 2016 with the resignation of the firm’s president and CEO Tadashi Ishii. He was replaced by Toshihiro Yamamoto in January.
Dentsu has also been engulfed in a separate scandal involving its digital practice in Japan that involved over-billing of numerous clients and related transaction processing errors which the firm has taken steps to address.
Evolable Asia has an existing IT offshore development service business in Vietnam with plans for further expansion. That led to talks with Dentsu and the decision to partner in the new joint venture.
Dentsu said that the Techno Camp venture would focus on Web site, system, and smartphone app development, design, coding, and verification, among other digital skills and solutions.