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Why Japan is creating a construction worker master rolodex

In a word: efficiency

Much like the U.K., Japan is facing a shortage of skilled construction workers. In 1997, the country had about 4.55 million construction workers. By 2015, that number had fallen to just 3.31 million, and just 10 percent are below the age of 30.

In an effort to more efficiently mobilize the workforce they have (i.e. deploy workers where they’re most needed), Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry plans to create a massive database cataloguing all 3.3 million of the country’s construction workers. The voluntary database will include workers’ names, birth dates, qualifications, skill sets, employment history, and training.

The catalogue will likely be operated by industrial associations, not the government.

Other ideas for stemming Japan’s loss of construction workers include increasing pay and transparency for employment contracts, improving working conditions, encouraging more female labor participation, and letting more foreign workers into the country.

Japan’s overall labor force appears to be shrinking, with a potential shortage of 8 million workers by 2025.

Via: Global Construction Review