Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng requested that the Japan train Cambodian human resources and increase the number of Cambodian workers in Japan to 50,000 in the near future. Currently, around 20,000 Cambodians are working there.
The request was made during a meeting with Fumiaki Takahashi, JCA President and Former Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia on February 7 at the labour ministry, the ministry said.
“We would like to ask the Japanese side to train Cambodia’s human resources in order to achieve 50,000 migrant workers in Japan in the near future. I have noticed that Japanese in Cambodia rarely have labour disputes. Companies follow the law, and the relationship between Japanese employers and Cambodian workers is harmonious,” Samheng was quoted as saying.
Responding to the request of Cambodia’s labour minister, Takahashi said that he and the association’s members will do their best to help Cambodia with the necessary skills that are in demand for working in Japan.
Observing the increasing number of Japanese-made vehicles circulating in Cambodia, he said it is an opportunity for the Japanese side to provide training on the skills of vehicle maintenance and repair to young Cambodians.
“The association will also provide training in skills like auto painting, detailing and customisation which are popular skills that can provide better income to Cambodian youths if they are experts in these skills,” Takahashi was quoted as saying.
Pav Sina, president of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW), said that it was good for Cambodia to work closely with the Japanese side to send trainees to study and work in Japan. People who went there not only got higher incomes to support their families, but also gained knowledge and skills to work for Japanese companies in Cambodia.
“Our association has never received any information about serious abuses from our trainees or workers in Japan as compared to some particular countries. However, we ask the ministry to make a clear distinction between trainees and workers in Japan so that there will be no confusion. The reason for that is that I’ve heard from our network of workers in Japan that they thought they were going to Japan as trainees, but they only worked there, which is distinct from the true definition of trainee,” he said.
An Bun Hak, president of the Manpower Association of Cambodia (MAC), said that most of Cambodia’s migrant workers go to Japan as trainees, meaning they are learning and working at the same time, but while working in Japan they didn’t accumulate as much in savings as those who are working in South Korea, because they spent time there studying.
“Those who have competed their training or have three to five years work experience in Japan are always priority hires for Japanese companies in Cambodia. Some of them can earn higher salaries than Cambodian university graduates.
“On the other hand, if we have more human resources who are proficient in the Japanese language and know how to use Japanese technology and tools, it could really attract more Japanese investors to Cambodia,” he said.
According to the labour ministry’s data, as of last year there are 116 employment agencies in Cambodia that have been licensed to recruit, train, send and manage trainees for internships and jobs in Japan.