Conference highlights lack of skills in construction industry

The issue of training and lack of skilled labour dominated discussions at the Construction Industry Council (CIC) conference. Picture: FT FILE

THE issue of training and lack of skilled labour dominated discussions at the Construction Industry Council (CIC) conference today.

The conference commenced with the focus on training in the construction industry aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled labour in Fiji.

Majority of the participants who are key experts in the construction sector called for serious review of training methods for trade jobs, particularly from institutions such as the Fiji National University (FNU) and its National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).

FNU offers TVET Stream programs relating directly to the construction trade sectors for a diverse range of firms in the private sector.

The programs play a very crucial role in the overall efficiency and productivity of any organisation in the construction industry.

Water Authority of Fiji acting CEO Taitusi Vakadravuyaca called on FNU to relook at its training methods, particularly within the civil engineering course.

This after he shared the skills gap experienced with his FNU graduate civil engineers at WAF.

Topik Furniture & Joinery Ltd projects manager Davendran Kumaran also called on FNU to further review some of its trade courses, which he described as “primitive”.

He also asked if the training staff at FNU be carefully selected and evaluated accordingly with proper qualifications.

Responding to the suggestions, FNU College of Engineering, Science and Technology acting dean Salabogi Mavoa agreed and highlighted the institution’s bid to train and upskill its teaching staff to be suitably qualified.

Last year, FNU has introduced more than 40 programs related to the trade sector to suit the Fijian industrial and regional demands.

*More on this story in today’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our E-Edition.

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