25 Nov 2009

Fiji businesses experience a shortage of skilled labour

11:55 am on 25 November 2009

Businesses in Fiji are experiencing a shortage of skilled labour in the country with workers continuing to leave Fiji for New Zealand and Australia.

A recent survey by the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji, which surveyed over a thousand businesses, showed forty percent of the employers identified a shortage of skilled workers in their industry.

The director of the Training and Productivity Authority Jone Usamate says the skill shortages are mainly in areas like welding, building and mechanics.

Mr Usamate says while the country has over the past decade tried to build up its capacity to train people, the effects of migration over twenty years have built up.

"One of the things that happens when you train people up and they come out of institutions, they need to go to the work site and work under people who will be able to pass on the additional knowledge, the nuances of the trade. In some cases that strata of workers is not available."

Jone Usamate says the authority is expanding it's programmes in technical and trade areas, and the government is looking to establish 20 centres to specialise in vocational training.