By Narumi Waki
While students were excited about all the new changes in their school life, OneStep opened in April. In the building, some students concentrate on studying, while others enjoy chatting over soft drinks.
Something interesting, which is different from other cafes are in OneStep. There are many pamphlets of small and medium-sized businesses, and it catches the visitors’ eye.
At first glance, the building exterior is ordinary café which you can find anywhere, but it is a unique and creative restaurant.
These facilities are available for university students and are operated by funds from sponsors, which are small and medium-sized businesses in Kochi. Students can enjoy the all-you-can-drink soft-drink bar, access the Internet, and print their documents in color for free. They can also gain some company information through an event such as a company information session by faculties and Exchange of opinions with a manager.
“We emphasize an informal and casual atmosphere for university students,” said Ms. Adachi Mie, a OneStep staff member.
Many students tend to be nervous and need some courage to talk with businesspeople. They should make elaborate preparation and build up an attitude to join the company information session as well as. Therefore, many of them are passive to look for a job early. To reduce students’ mental burden,
OneStep came up with the Exchange meeting with working adults, which students feel comfortable. In this event, Onestep always thinks that they want the students to speak without the reservation, and they place importance that everyone does not deny their opinions with each other.
On June 27th, a company information session for Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences students was held. 11students and 5employees gathered, they enjoyed chatting from the work topic to private topic such as “What do you usually do after 5 p.m.?” or “What do you like about your job or your major ?” Students can participate in this event without preparations and the entry fee. “Since it operated with only a few participants, each student and the company have pros.” Ms. Adachi said. From the viewpoint of the student, one of the participants is always not good at speaking with adults. However, he was able to relax and be true to himself without any tension. From the viewpoint of the company, they could communicate with students directly and could tell young people today’s feeling and ideas. Meeting face to face and freely is the most significant benefit in this café. “We always ask employees to wear casual clothes in Onestep event.” She also said. Such small devices have a good effect on their relationship between adult and student.
“I am glad if such events will become the students’ start to usually use OneStep,” she answered. Onestep is originally café. It offers a set meal at 500yen. If students join the Onestep event, they can receive a coupon for one meal of free set meal. It is one of the ideas which Onestep attracts students regularly. “In April, when OneStep started, there were few students. And what is worse is that there were no students all day, so I was feeling anxious about OneStep’s future.” She said.
OneStep staff post information on social networking sites regularly. They get the introduction to students on Kochi University websites and one of Kochi University professors’ lectures. Also, other events were held, such as reports of study abroad. Through trial and error, OneStep users have increased gradually now.
As described above, students can receive some supports for free. A set meal costs money, but it is only 500yen. So that OneStep does not make a financial profit. OneStep is run by Office partner Inc, which is one of the small and medium-sized businesses in Kochi. They offer something related to the office, for instance, office supplies or planning work and administrative work and so on. They are not NPO. It is not too much to say Office partner Inc’s volunteer.
OneStep started from one voice of small and medium-sized businesses managers in Kochi. Office partner’s president belongs at Young Entrepreneurs Group, and he is always interacting with them. “We mainly recruit mid-career so they cannot go toe-to-toe with large companies. We want to train employees from scratch and secure human resources in Kochi,” they said. However, they cannot make an effort on public relations well, and they make themselves known to students. Even though there are a lot of competitive and attractive companies in Kochi, it is a waste.
Currently, Kochi is facing a decrease in population. According to Kochi News Paper, the total population of Kochi is 699522 now. The main reason is the surplus of deaths over births for 29 years in a row. There are only three prefectures which have the population under 700000 in Japan. They are Tottori or Shimane and Kochi. Young people moving away from their hometowns is also one of the reasons. According to a Mynavi’s survey, the rate of job candidates in their own local is 49.80%.
In contrast, it is only 17.20% in Kochi. This rate shows it is difficult for Kochi Prefecture to secure young workforce. The number of students who start working at Kochi is small at Kochi University. Going by course for the new graduates in the 30th year of the Heisei period, 1073 students graduated in this school. 30% of them were from Kochi. On the other hand, 70% of them were from other prefectures. And then 861students found employment.
30% of them got employment at Kochi, and 70% of them work at other prefectures. Even though many students come from other countries, they tend to leave from Kochi after graduated. Matching between students and small and medium-sized businesses managers in Koch has a possibility to these problems.
OneStep wants more students to know medium-sized businesses managers in Kochi, join these companies, and live in Kochi. Not only that, they want more students to experience, which will probably be useful in the future. Onestep staff thinks Onestep will be the place of the student’s self-formation. Sponsors of Onestep also agree with this view.
OneStep has a subtitle which is café of matching between students and small and medium-sized businesses managers in Kochi, so students put a preconception into their mind. You probably think that you have to do job hunting. The number of visitors is fewer than the number of people subscribe. They need courage when they enter Onestep but all you have to eat launch and drink soft drinks. Onestep would like to break the preconception.
These days, OneStep create various events which it caught students’ attention and held regularly. Onestep also launched an editorial department with Kochi University students at almost the same time as OneStep started. They write a page of Hot Kochi every month. Onestep is being recognized more and more because of much OneStep staff’s efforts.
“I hope to OneStep became a part of students’ daily like schools, home, library, and a part-time job.” She said with smiling at the end. By all means, could you try and go to OneStep freely.
“Course of graduates in the 30th year of the Heisei period,” Kochi University, (www.kochi-u.ac.jp/_files/00126564/04_01_01_00_30.pdf), July 31st, 2019.
“The survey for U-turn and local employment in Mynavi’s students will graduate from 2020”, Mynavi, (https://www.mynavi.jp/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/【リリース】20年卒マイナビ大学生Uターン・地元就職に関する調査_.pdf) July 31st, 2019.
“The population of Kochi under 700000 now”, Kochi newspaper,(https://www.kochinews.co.jp/article/286610) July 31st, 2019.