Labour shortage – Report: Businesses have trouble filling about 100 occupations

According to the National Training and Productivity Council's Industry and Community Discussion Forum Report 2022 more than 220 businesses in Fiji are finding it difficult to fill positions for electricians, refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, plumbers, construction and joinery workers and automotive mechanics. Picture: FILE

More than 220 businesses in Fiji are finding it difficult to fill positions for electricians, refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, plumbers, construction and joinery workers and automotive mechanics.

This, according to the National Training and Productivity Council’s Industry and Community Discussion Forum Report 2022.

A total of 408 organisations from Fiji were part of the month-long Industry and Community Discussion Forum held in March this year.

The survey also found that to fill the vacant occupations, 60 per cent of companies hired part-time workers rather than permanent employees, 70 per cent of companies outsourced work to external vendors rather than upskilling staff, and 63 per cent of companies hired expatriates.

The forum discussion and survey also found that upskilling and reskilling programs and on-the-job training (apprenticeship) were most effective and popular among employers for filling skills in vacuum rather than recruitment and staff redeployment.

The common skills set sought by organisations and employees were IT training, digital skills, work-life balance, OHS, leadership and management, plumbing, manufacturing and AutoCAD, to name a few.

The survey also indicated that Fiji had a highly educated and skilled workforce – 25 per cent were Bachelor’s graduates, and 44 per cent had postgraduate qualifications including 3 per cent post-doctoral degrees.

In terms of work experience, 18 per cent had one to five years of experience, 22 per cent had 10-15 years, and 16 per cent had more than 26 years of experience.

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