Publications Monthly Keidanren 2018 August  The Construction Industry Begins a New Endeavor to Realize Society 5.0

Vice Chair, Keidanren
Chairman, Taisei Corporation

The Construction Career Up System (CCUS) will be launched this fall.

System development has been led by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Their objective is to have skilled workers be treated appropriately based on their skills and experience by collecting information on qualifications and work performance of approximately 3.3 million frontline skilled workers and accumulate it in big data under the industry standardized rules. CCUS treats skilled workers as valuable management resources for the whole industry, across companies and jobs, and uses information on them to create a database. As the industry platform, CCUS is an essential tool for realizing Society 5.0 in the construction industry and is an innovative public-private joint project.

The number of construction workers peaked approximately 20 years ago. Since then, this number has decreased by approximately 30%. Note that, on top of this decline, the percentage of old construction workers is 5% higher and the percentage of young construction workers is 5% lower than the industry-wide average. It is predicted that a large number of construction workers, approximately 1 million of them, primarily from the baby-boomer generation, will retire within 10 years. Under these circumstances, the construction industry has been urged to further strongly promote Work Style Reform to improve working environments, including reducing long working hours with the securing of future workers in mind, and improve productivity across construction production processes.

Currently, both the public and private sectors have been working on improving productivity by promoting i-Construction, an initiative to introduce advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, and robots to construction production systems, and by fully implementing business process re-engineering (BPR). CCUS will also greatly contribute to productivity improvements. The visualization of skilled workers' qualifications and work performance will develop their identities as engineers. Improving their treatment based on their skills and experience will motivate them to develop their abilities. As a result, each skilled worker will have increased capabilities, which can bring productivity improvements accompanied by additional value such as better quality and safety.

I wonder if Society 5.0 in the construction industry can be realized sooner by linking information on individuals to that on objects while spreading CCUS and further promoting i-Construction at the same time. Construction is a field of business in which individuals play the central role in the manufacturing process. Therefore, I think that realization of Society 5.0 in the construction industry will require a perspective to expand the potential of a labor-intensive industry while paying attention to everyone involved in the construction business and considering the maximization of their individual capabilities.