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Sri Lanka Introduces Construction Skills Test for Japan’s Specified Skilled Workers Program

Sri Lanka unveiled a pivotal move on December 1, introducing a skills test specifically tailored for the construction field, aiming to enable Sri Lankans to work in Japan under the Specified Skilled Workers (SSW) program.

Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, Manusha Nanayakka, emphasized that this opportunity will empower talented Sri Lankans to contribute significantly to both Japan’s construction sector and Sri Lanka’s future development.

This initiative was announced in collaboration with key figures like Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki of Japan to Sri Lanka, Chief Representative AMADA Tetsuya of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office, and A. A. M. Hilmi, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.

Expanding the existing skills tests in Nursing Care, Food Service, and Agriculture, Sri Lanka now offers SSW skills tests in four fields, marking a significant stride in facilitating employment opportunities for its citizens in Japan.

Minister Nanayakkara highlighted Japan’s historical support to Sri Lanka, especially during severe economic crises, acknowledging Japan’s pivotal role in debt restructuring talks. Expressing gratitude, he acknowledged Japan’s assistance and underscored the growing job prospects for Sri Lankans in Japan over the next five years.

To equip Sri Lankans for these opportunities, measures include incorporating Japanese language learning into the school curriculum, launching island-wide language programs, and reimbursing language learning expenses for selected job candidates.

While SSW jobs in Japan were previously limited to Nursing Care, Food Service, and Agriculture for Sri Lankans, efforts to extend this to Construction, Building Cleaning, and Automobile sectors have succeeded. Minister Nanayakkara highlighted that individuals with Japanese language proficiency and involvement in the construction industry could now undertake the SSW category exam for employment in Japan.

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