The private sector in Fiji today is struggling with skills shortages so we need to work on the TVET sector – Batiweti

The private sector in Fiji today is struggling with skills shortages so we need to work on the TVET sector – Batiweti

The private sector in the country today is grappling with the skills shortage, but we cannot stop the Fijians who are drifting away. Therefore, we need to work on the technical and vocational education and training sector.

This was highlighted by Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation CEO Kameli Batiweti during the post-budget roundtable at the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

He says we will have to bring a lot more blue collar expats to work in Fiji.

Batiweti says that is why there is a need to work together so that the skills Fiji is currently losing are quickly replaced by trained Fijians to ensure the survival of the private sector and its ability to compete.

He says if we get it right, skills migration will help us, but training skilled people here is absolutely necessary.

He also asks the government if the 21-day business visa on arrival for limited countries is open to include countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The CEO says most of the manufacturing technicians are being brought in from these countries to replace Fijian blue-collar workers who are now transitioning into the skills mobility market.

Batiweti adds that the budget is fair because it will help the private sector to focus on a resilient recovery and also on a future recovery.

He says the tax regime that has been restructured over the past two years has remained broadly unchanged to ensure policy coherence for the private sector.

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