25 Jan 2005

Fiji Government happy more Fijians being sought to work in Kuwait, union leader warns of downside.

4:52 pm on 25 January 2005

Fiji's Labour Minister, Kenneth Zinck, says increasing recruitment to Kuwait is helping the country's unemployment problem.

Recruitment firm, Meridian Services, is reported to have said that it hopes to have five thousand employees from Fiji in Kuwait within the next month.

Mr Zinck says around twelve thousand school leavers are unlikely to find jobs in Fiji at the end of every year:

"This recruitment to Kuwait is actually helping the unemployment problem that we have in Fiji. What is of concern to us is that, perhaps, the level of expertise that is now being taken off shore and our concern is to step up the training with our tertiary organisations and technical organisations."

Mr Zinck says the government is comfortable with the level of overseas recruitment at present and is not actively encouraging other companies to enter the market.

The General Secretary of Fiji's Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh, has warned that the jobs in the Middle East also have a down side.

He says the families left behind can often break up and there are consequences for the workers when they return from Iraq or Kuwait:

Those that are leaving their job to go and earn money there, which is very attractive, will pose a problem when they come back, they will not be able to find employment.

to find employment.

The General Secretary of Fiji's Public Service Association, Rajeshwar Singh