When a company ensures that everyone deserves a second chance, it’s a company worth working for.

Students who fail a grade and thus repeat the same year remain rare in Japan, but the ones that do (referred to as ryunen,  meaning “repeaters”) find themselves at a huge disadvantage upon stepping out into the working world, where distinguished academic records and the willingness to put the company before all else are the norm.

Committed to dispelling the negative image associated with being held back in school, advertising company Tokyu Agency holds recruitment sessions catered to repeaters, with helpful input from veteran employees who once failed grades themselves. For people such as Twitter user @kotaroishungry, this turn of fortune just made his day.

“This is fantastic! They’re recruiting repeaters! Tokyu Agency! Thank you! Thank you very much! As expected of Tokyu! I love Tokyu!”

The company’s recruitment page states that “Repeaters are assets”, with a stirring message to prospective employees hoping to get a second chance at life:

“Repeaters are considered terrible by many companies. However, we do not think so. Most of them eventually complete their grades. Whether it’s studying abroad, putting their everything into part-time jobs, starting businesses or pursuing knowledge. They challenge everything they see and become engrossed in things. As for results, getting held back in school makes them special and they’ll be able to use it as an asset. There are no other individuals like them. They’ll brainstorm and work closely with people who have gone through the same. At Tokyu Agency, we have begun to recruit repeaters.”

▼ It’s like pressing continue at the “Game Over” screen.

Looking at Tokyu Agency’s history, recruitment numbers have been steadily increasing for the company with 30 new recruits expected to join their ranks this year. Although these aren’t guaranteed to be all repeaters, it’s a significant step towards forging a much more accepting society in a country where academic performances dictate one’s future.

It’s good to see Tokyu Agency tapping into a population that is still discriminated against, but if companies could also start easing the frustrating job hunting system for foreigners, Japan would inevitably change for the better.

Source: Tokyu Agency via Kai-You, Hachima Kikou
Top image: Pakutaso
Images: Pakutaso