Student queries A-G on expats

The AG talking to students of Vashist Muni in Navua. Picture: JONA KONATACI

The AG talking to students of Vashist Muni in Navua. Picture: JONA KONATACI

WE need more expatriates in Fiji to train our people complemented with a succession plan, says Minister for Economy and Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed this while responding to a Jai Narayan College student during the 2018/2019 Budget consultation for students at Suva Grammar School in Nasese yesterday.

The student had asked: “Why is there a need to bring in more expatriates to do the work that can be done by locals, by Fijians?

“If sufficient training is given to Fijians, I mean locals; they could match the work the expatriates do.

“If a local such as you, can do such a great job, my question is why are we brining in so many expatriates and spending more money on them.

“I believe opportunities and priorities should be given to local people.”

In responding to the question, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there were certain things Fijians could not do, for instance speech therapists.

He contextualised to the Jai Narayan College student that for a doctor to become a specialist in open heart surgery, it cannot happen overnight.

“Your question is actually flawed. You said there are so many expatriates, where are they? There’s a few of them here and there.

“In fact, we need more of them to train our people. Don’t be xenophobic, that’s very dangerous. Let’s bring more people to train our people and have a succession plan.”