SUNBIZ

Goundar Eyes Foreign Skilled Labour

Local shipping operator George Goundar is looking to recruit   skilled foreign seafarers to work on ships. Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) owner and managing director, George Goundar, admitted that there is
06 Sep 2017 11:00
Goundar Eyes Foreign Skilled Labour
Crew of Lomaiviti Princess III. From left: Alipate Gonerogo, Kamoe Aisake, Jack Fisher and Allan Paka at Port-Mua-i-Walu on September 4, 2017. Photo: Taraivini Seru

Local shipping operator George Goundar is looking to recruit   skilled foreign seafarers to work on ships.

Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) owner and managing director, George Goundar, admitted that there is a lack of skilled maritime professionals locally.

He has set his eyes on recruiting applicants from the Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

“The biggest challenge that we have locally is the labour force in Fiji and having under qualified seafarers,” Mr Goundar said.

In a bid to have a more qualified crew on board his four vessels, he said bringing in foreign skilled labour is his current option.

He claims that for years, he has had difficulty in finding skilled graduates locally.

“We don’t have qualified employees in Fiji.”

“We are lacking qualified and experienced engineers and deck officers so I have no other choice, but to look abroad for this expertise.”

GSL operates four of its vessels which are the Lomaiviti Princess I, Lomaiviti Princess II , Lomaiviti Princess III, Lomaiviti Princess IV.

The newest addition to his fleet Lomaiviti Princess V is expected to arrive in November.

“We have two large vessels, the Lomaiviti Princess 1 and Lomaiviti Princess III and my crew is struggling with the larger vessels,” he said.

He said with the fifth vessel to come, he expects to face more challenges in terms of man power.

However, Mr Goundar said that it is sad  for him to resort to expatriates as it would affect the local shipping industry, employment wise.

“I’ve been telling the authorities about this and to be aware that once the local shipping industry start going foreign, then the local market will be affected.”

Mr Goundar added that other shipping operators recruiting local seafarers and sending them abroad leaves a void in Fiji.

“By leaving a void in Fiji, we local stakeholders will get foreigners to come and work here.

“Once we do that and once they get a taste of working in Fiji, we will be flooded with foreigners and  the local seafarers will be affected” he said.

He said that wages for foreign labour are compatible in some areas, but the local employment of seafarers will be affected and the source of income for these locals will be affected.

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper