Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has said it will start programs to support both the private and work-life of foreign workers at its convenience stores as part of efforts to retain them amid a labor shortage due to Japan's graying population.

The operator of convenience stores, employing about 37,000 foreigners, plans to establish a database that will compile information on them, including nationality, education and job history, to enhance the workers' credibility when applying for credit cards, rental housing and other services, the company said.

The programs for foreign workers, primarily students, aim to encourage them to settle down in Japan and work over the long term, it added.

Foreign workers account for about 9.5 percent of total Seven-Eleven store staff and have become vital to operating the outlets, the company said.

The programs will be led by Seven Global Linkage, an organization the company set up last year to realize a society where Japanese and foreign nationals live harmoniously.

Seven-Eleven's parent Seven & i Holdings Co., Seven Bank and five other firms have joined the initiative, including an online visa application service provider and a rental housing guarantor for foreigners.

The organization will also introduce training courses for foreign workers to learn skills, including those required in the distribution and information technology sectors.