Invest in human capital for growth

INVESTING in human capital could lead to a company’s growth and success, says Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While opening the 2017 BSP Fiji Human Resources Institute Convention at the Sofitel Resort and Spa in Denarau, he said this was where the role of a human resource specialist was pivotal.

He said a company’s success also contributed to the country’s economic growth.

“It is very important for you to understand how human resource fit in, compliment and how it has a huge impact on the economy of a country,” he said.

“The reality is human resource investment is very critical.”

He said human resource specialists should also strive to improve themselves.

“All of you who work in the human resources area and departments, you play a very pivotal role.

“I think in Fiji, the human resource area has been very much understated and in fact undervalued.

“You need to invest in your own selves.

“You need to ensure that you adopt new technologies and your way of thinking and how you can engineer your organisations to be able to take advantage of the economic trajectory that we are on.

“Only then you can be able to fully realise the full potential of our country.”

He said in the past, building human capacity was not a priority.

“In Fiji, unfortunately, for a number of decades the investment in human resources and human capital has been very much in the background.

“It has not been given that high level of prominence.

“Of course I can speak from the civil service perspective. “If you look at those people who have been running the HR departments in ministries, they have not been well resourced.

“They have been treated in administrative positions where people climb within the hierarchy and suddenly someone has become manager human resources.

“There has not been given a level of importance to it.

“Fiji today is in a position where most doctors are not necessarily specialised.

“As we speak there is no doctor in Fiji who can carry out open heart surgery. The 21st Century Fiji which is a very precarious position to be in.

“If someone had to have a heart attack now and you would need open heart surgery, nobody can carry out that procedure.

“The fact is the reason why we don’t have such specialisation in Fiji is because there has been a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to invest in our human resources.

He added that human resource officers should also understand that a worker’s capacity would grow over time.

“Sometimes to develop that human resource and that capacity we need to be able to have the right people in the human resources department to be able to understand what your company’s challenges are.”

The minister also emphasised the importance of investing in the new graduates.

“Today, 69.4 per cent of the entire Fijian population is below the age of 40. Those of you above the age of 40, we are in the minority.

“The theme of your convention is ‘Investing Now for the Future’ and it’s very important that you recognise that.”

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