SUNBIZ

Disconnect Of Market Demand And Supply From Universities

There is a severe disconnect with market demand and supply of human capital resources from our local Universities, a top executive said yesterday. FMF Foods Group Managing Director Ram Bajekal
25 Jun 2017 15:33
Disconnect Of Market Demand  And Supply From Universities
Participants at the Topex Conference 2017 at the Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa on Yanuca Island. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

There is a severe disconnect with market demand and supply of human capital resources from our local Universities, a top executive said yesterday.

FMF Foods Group Managing Director Ram Bajekal said there was a mismatch in the expectation of local industries and what they got from young graduates.

“Some students from Universities, if they were consumers, I would return them to the manufacturer,” he said.

Mr Bajekal also highlighted the big skill shortages in the market.

Mr Bajekal was speaking during Fiji Commerce and Employers Federations Top Executive (TopEx) Conference.

The two-day conference was held at Shangri La’s Fijian Resort, Yanuca Island.

“There are too many experts of white collar jobs and there’s not enough of blue collar and technical experts that we need people for.”

He said there was an urgent need to upgrade the curriculum.

This was supported by the President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation Himen Chandra.

Mr Bajekal said young graduates need to understand how to adapt to work-life with a lot more clarity, work ethics and principles.

He also suggested the introduction of an Executive education programme to help in up-skilling students and graduates.

Professor Richard K Coll from the University of the South Pacific said most universities are established by government to provide graduates in areas of need.

Some challenges include the low participation rate by Pacific students.

Universities lacked the desire to develop entrepreneurship in students, Professor Coll said.

“Universities have also observed the lack of soft skills and poor attitudes in students.

“But sending out students for internship and practical programmes has been helpful.”

Professor John Chelliah, of Fiji National University was optimistic about the ability for universities to supply the market.

However, he was more concerned that brain drain would continue.

“One of the main factors that has been affecting the abilities of businesses to invest is the migration of skilled labour.”

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper