In the construction industry, which faces an acute labor shortage, one company in Gifu Prefecture is successfully developing foreign workers into skilled engineers.

At Concrete Pump, based in Kakamigahara, three Chinese nationals have obtained the newly established Specified Skilled Worker No. 2 visa status, which allows foreign nationals to work virtually indefinitely in Japan.

Because of the difficulty in acquiring the No. 2 status, which requires high levels of knowledge and skills, it is extremely rare for one company to have multiple workers with the status. The company’s initiative is likely to attract attention as Japan ponders how to accept foreign workers amid the nation’s declining birthrate and aging population.