Philippines-Japan partner up to develop construction skills of foreign human resources in Japan

Front/Center (from left to right): Yu Shinjo (Executive Director, Jellyfish Inc) and Mr Shunjiro Furuhama (Matsuzawa Kawaraten Co., Ltd)

The Construction Manpower Development Foundation (CMDF) in partnership with the Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of the Government of Japan, and the Foundation for International Transfer of Skills in Construction (FITS, Japan) conducted a seminar on ‘Measures to develop construction skills of Foreign Human Resources in Japan’ last March 16, 2017 at the Dusit Thani Manila.

The seminar’s main objective is to explore measures to advance the human resource development of Filipino construction skilled workers trained in Japan. Mr. Keita Ohtsu, Subsection Chief, Construction Market Division, Land Economy and Construction Industries Bureau of MLIT gave a talk on frameworks and recent measures used in Japan.

The present Technical Intern Training System allows for foreign trainees from developing nations to stay in Japan for a maximum period of 3 years to acquire skills through OJT. There is also the Foreign Construction Workers Acceptance Program which allows skilled workers in Japan to address temporary construction demands like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Mr. Shunjiro Furuhama (Matsuzawa Kawaraten Co., Ltd) discussed the necessity of human resource development to conduct step-up training for trainees with acquired technology and skills to actively participate in the development of the construction industry within their home countries. The Skills Education and Training Program System allows for contents of curriculum, accomplishment levels, and employed materials to be systemized and stored digitally for efficiency. The system helps trainees understand contents and schedule of curriculum to be more cost conscious. There is also a proposal to use Japanese technology in building and improving large scale power plants with the Numata Off-grid Model.

Jellyfish a web-based registry for construction industry workers returning home from Japan was introduced by the Executive Director of Jellyfish Inc., Mr. Yu Shinjo. It aims to filter users based on skills, nationality, language ability, qualification and work experience to come up with job matches. The system protects users’ privacy by having companies request for access from Jellyfish before making contact with a worker. The system also automatically takes out a user from the registry after getting employed.

On the domestic front, CMDF is developing Construction Industry One Registry System (CIORS) a web based registry for construction industry workers and professionals in the Philippines. CMDF sees an opportunity to improve the system by emulating Jellyfish. CIORS plans to include job matching feature in the registry system to benefit both workers/professionals and construction companies. It also aims to map out construction industry workers/professionals in the Philippines with a workforce mapper.

The seminar highlighted the current strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan and future opportunities of the construction industry in both countries to further develop and invest in improving the sector.

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