SUNBIZ

Expert Explains Labour Poaching Trend

Tradespeople are being choosy and opting for companies that offer the highest pay due to a lack of skilled workers in the construction industry, says an expert. As a result
26 Mar 2018 16:25

Tradespeople are being choosy and opting for companies that offer the highest pay due to a lack of skilled workers in the construction industry, says an expert.

As a result of this, companies are losing skilled workers to other companies through poaching when offered higher salary rates.

Presently, some of these organisations are bringing in skilled labor from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India simply because Fiji does not have the skills available.

Speaking in Nadi on Thursday at the Fiji National University, National Training and Productivity Council (NTPC) director Isimeli Tagicakiverata said the construction industry has a shortage of skilled workers.

NTPC met with stakeholders and company officials to share views on apprenticeship and seeking the right type of employment.

“Some of them have been sharing with us that there is a lack in a particular skill; for example, the retail sector, or in government factories and in construction companies,” Mr Tagicakiverata said.

“In some cases we have skilled tradespeople in Fiji, but given the limited jobs, they are jumping from one job to another.

“They start with this company with $5 an hour but because there is a shortage, the other company is poaching them with $6 dollars an hour while somebody else is offering them $7 an hour.

“Alreay we have a limited number of tradespeople in Fiji and they are able to be selective because of that; so what some organisations are doing is bringing in tradespeople from overseas to fill that gap of immediate need.

“And another opportunity for them is the apprenticeship scheme because some organisations are thinking of taking on apprentices to help them fill that gap, because the good thing about apprentices is that they are coming and they will be committed to the company for four years.

“So they will be trained and guided by the supervisors for that four-year period, and they are being fully paid every week until they finish their programme at the end of the fourth year.

“After the fourth year they can choose whether to remain with the company or move away.”

Last week was apprenticeship week and a team of NTPC officers travelled to different schools promoting the concept.

“It is a viable option for students leaving schools at Form 6 level,” Mr Tagicakiverata added.

“Apart from that, we have 10 teams travelling around Fiji, visiting different towns doing industry discussion at forums.

“Basically this team has been travelling for the last two days and were now visiting our industry partners meaning the big employers and also the small employers.:

Mr Tagicakiverata said NTPC was also visiting some formal sectors, church leaders, community leaders like the Town Council and some NGO’s.

“We are trying to gauge from our industry partners and all these different sectors what we can do and NTPC to help them deliver their services better,” he said

“The courses are tailor-made to suit their specific needs, whether they are in the manufacturing industry or retail sector or hospitality industry or small business.

“You know all of them have different needs and what some of them were asking was if we could tailor some training to suit them and make them more productive in their different sectors.”

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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