Demand For Fijians Downunder

He said there could be a shortage of chefs in Fiji as recruitment agencies are already advertising to get chefs from Fiji.
14 Jun 2022 10:22
Demand For Fijians Downunder
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: DEPTFO

The 2022-2023 Budget will focus on post-COVID recovery.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this during a press conference yesterday.

“As per the law we have to wait for a week after the budget is delivered and then we will debate on the budget itself which we hope to have approved on July 29 for it to come to effect from August 1,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We have informed the honourable speaker of  Parliament and he is aware of the date and of course we will deliver the Budget in the evening as per the usual practice.

“This budget will of course be very much on our post pandemic recovery. As you know, given the number of policy measures put in place both medical and fiscal policy measures, we were able to open our borders on December 1.

“The numbers are looking quite good and it is indeed encouraging.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was important that Fiji delivered the services required as a country.

“The tourism sector and services in New Zealand are having a number of issues with their staff. A lot of people have left the hospitality industry  and some have decided not to go back to the hospitality industry out of fear of COVID or whether they found other professions to have a sustainable livelihood,” he said.

“At the same time you would have seen last week the waiting time in the state of Victoria in Australia in the public hospital is about 24 hours. The situation they have is not having enough nurses.

“What this means is that a lot of people will be looking to poach our staff, our people, our human resources from Fiji. We have already seen that for example some teachers have been recruited by New Zealand because they actually have a shortage of teachers.

“The budget that we are going to deliver will need to address a number of these fundamental changes that are taking place globally and of course regionally.

“We need to of course look at incentivising as we are announcing the Budget we are looking at the scarcity of skills set and the retention issues within the civil service that we need to be able to address in the revised budget.”



Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said more opportunities were opening in Australia offering salaries of AUS $80,000 to $120,000 to those with more than three years experience.

He said there could be a shortage of chefs in Fiji as recruitment agencies are already advertising to get chefs from Fiji.


Cash assistance

“We have already paid more than $2million to about 19,521 Fijians with the $100 unemployment payment. For the $50 social welfare payment has already been paid around $4.5million to around 89,000 social welfare recipients early last week,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.



The Government has extended the number of General Practitioners (GP) and over 40 outlets that will be available to people all over Fiji.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said as a result of the pandemic, Fijians were not able to access dental services.

“We call for expressions of interest and we have some practitioners who are predominantly at this stage in the Suva, Nakasi area and there is only one in Lautoka and that is Dr Suresh Chandra. We have the Nakasi Dental Clinic, Makoi Dental Clinic, Stunning smile Dental in Nabua and Daily Care dental which is near the bus stand  “ he said.

“You can go to these dentists and they will be able to do extractions, temporary fillings, permanent fillings  and of course they can do oral examinations and again the Government will be paying all these for you in that respect.”


Public submission

“We are calling on public submission for the Budget. We would like the members of the public to please give their submission by June 30 by emailing, post and can hand deliver,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“We will also be holding a public consultation and we will receive a number of requests from the members of the rural public who want us to reach out to them and make presentations. Unfortunately, we will not be able to go to every single corner of Fiji for public consultation but no doubt when we do go to rural areas we are asking if people congregate in one place at a particular location so we can cover as many of these areas as possible.”







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