SUNBIZ

Strategies To Be Put In Place To Help Keep road Engineers In Fiji

Given the amount of road works/upgrades being undertaken in Fiji, there needs to be strategies in place to ensure we are able to retain our engineers. This was a key
17 May 2015 10:21
Strategies To Be Put In Place To Help Keep road Engineers In Fiji
From left: Assistant General Manager Prime Services, Tevita Nagataleka, former president of Fiji Institute of Accountants, Cama Raimuria, Fiji Rugby Union chief executive, Radrodro Tabualevu, immediate past President of FIA, Renu Chand and Fiji Roads Authority chief executive, Neil Cook. This was during the FIA Congress 2015 at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on Yanuca Island. Photo: RACHNA LAL

Given the amount of road works/upgrades being undertaken in Fiji, there needs to be strategies in place to ensure we are able to retain our engineers.

This was a key message from Fiji Roads Authority chief executive, Neil Cook, during the Fiji Institute of Accountants Congress 2015.

The congress ended at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort on Yanuca Island yesterday.

Mr Cook’s observation is more engineers are needed in Fiji.

“We have around 200 at the moment but at the rate of growth, we need 1000,” he said.

Mr Cook said for Fiji to get over six per cent growth, Fiji needs technical people and to sustain them.

“The local industry is thriving in terms of road works – major investments going on in plant and equipment. People are seeing opportunity in the roading industry,” he said.

“What I’m saying is, we don’t have to pay what they will get in Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

“But we need to recognise if we don’t at least reach some level of comparability suitable for Fiji – then the incentive is for our engineers from Fiji to go apply their trade in Australia or New Zealand.

“This is because they can improve their well-being just like rugby players can go to Europe and get paid 70,000 Euros a month.”

Backlog

As for the backlog in terms of the jobs which should have been done but has not been, Mr Cook said one challenge is this keeps increasing and they need to keep up with this.

“What we have over the course of past two years and next few years, is an elevated level of investment to catch up,” he said.

“That is what backlog reduction is – it is catching up on work that should have been done.”

“We estimated we had a $200 million backlog in terms of bridges but since that time, we have found another five bridges we didn’t know.

“That figure of around $200 million is probably still reasonably valid figure.

“We have done a whole lot of work but we have also found new bridges that will need work as well.

“For the moment it keeps increasing but that will change over time because we can only find so many bridges.”

Feedback:  rachanl@fijisun.com.fj

 




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