THE National Employment Centre (NEC) plans to send retired teachers to Papua New Guinea in the hope of filling the demand for educators on the island nation.
The news is sure to be music to the ears of retired teachers who in recent months have been sent to Nauru and the Marshall Islands to fill teaching vacancies there.
NEC director Viliame Cagilaba said there was a large number of retired teachers in the country and as the Melanesian Spearhead Group moved forward with its skills movement scheme, they hoped to send them across to PNG.
"They (PNG) will be able to absorb the retired teachers with their qualifications. At last count, I think there were about 12,000 places vacant and PNG doesn't have the capacity to fill that number," Mr Cagilaba said.
However, he said there were still legal issues to deal with before all was set in stone.
"The issue now is employment conditions. We need to rectify these as well before we send our people away just so that they are aware of the conditions they will encounter."
Mr Cagilaba said labour laws in Fiji were advanced when compared with other regional countries, hence the need to ensure that standards were uniform before any skills movement could take place.
"Our laws are really advanced compared with other countries so we need to raise the standards in those countries in order to be fair to our people," he said.
"We must make sure that when we send our people to these countries, they have the same conditions as our labour laws in Fiji," he added.
Mr Cagilaba explained that uniform standards already existed between Fiji and PNG however, there was still work to be done with other regional countries.