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Thursday, September 2, 2010

DOLE pushes for intensified Japanese Language Training Program for Overseas Filipino Workers

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz said the intensified language training for aspiring OFW nurses and caregivers for Japan will raise the jobseekers probability of the tough licensure examinations set by the host country for foreign medical workers.

Baldoz recalled that latest information indicated simply 1.2 percent of overseas jobseekers have passed the exams and that no foreign jobseeker passed last year’s exams due to the difficulty of the examinees to comprehend kanji and technical language written in Japanese.

In order to remedy the crisis, Baldoz sought the suggestions of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tokyo, Japan to address the problem and came up with a number of solutions.

POLO-Tokyo Officer-in-Charge and Welfare Officer Maria Luz Talento said the language training programs should concentrate on communication skills more than simply language skills, adding that even though candidate nurses and caregivers are able to speak Japanese which clearly benefits their hospitals and/or welfare institutions, it cannot make up for an inability to communicate verbally (and in writing) with their co-workers and immediate superiors in their place of work.

Talento stated an occupation-specific language and communication skills training program is necessary not just to redress conflict and prevent miscommunications, but also to obtain jobs and retain them as well.

The POLO head said a successful occupation-specific language and communication skills training program should include some form of labor market support including but not limited to, orientations about workplace diversity, Japanese legal system, and Japanese workplace culture with topics on verbal and non-verbal communication, work values and expectations, and work relationship.

Talento also mentioned that the reason for the coming back home of the 18 Filipinos are not because that they are discouraged of not passing the exams but rather because of personal (family) and/or health reasons, adding that based on interviews made with the Overseas Filipino Workers, mainly all of them even suggested that their partaking to their first examination was a “valuable learning experience for them to get a feel of the examinations.”

Talento said the OFWs did not divulge, in any way or manner, that they are being discouraged as a result of their slim prospects of passing the Japanese licensure examinations.

Source: Labor Communications Office

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