A MISMATCH between the supply of new workers and the demand for skilled labour is holding back the nation's development, according to Education Minister Filipe Bole.
He told the Fiji National University Roundtable Conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) on Wednesday that while 17,000 people join the labour market annually, many areas continued to suffer skills shortages.
Mr Bole said TVET referred to training provided to prepare skilled workers to meet industry and market needs for occupations or vocations.
Citing a study by former Fiji Institute of Technology TVET teacher Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata, Mr Bole said the low regard given to TVET resulted in the skills shortage.
"In the contemporary labour market, not only in Fiji but worldwide, job opportunities are found in areas where technical skills are required," Mr Bole said.