Party contemplates establishing skills centre

Freedom Alliance Party leader Jagath Karunaratne Picture: RAMA/FT FILE

THE Fiji United Freedom Party plans to set up a skills centre in the country if it forms the next government.

Party leader Jagath Karunaratne said the establishment of the skills centre was in the party’s manifesto.

“The skills centre is basically a pool of skills in different categories such as IT skills in different sectors,” Mr Karunaratne said.

“This will ideally be set up in conjunction with universities to cater for young graduates who are coming out of universities looking for employment.”

He said the skills centre would then work with corporate and civil services to identify the skills needed in delivering their services and would also be used as a resource pool for overseas marketing in providing and facilitating outsourcing opportunities.

“Another aspect that we will discuss on the concept of skills centre is how overseas companies that are providing services to local companies can utilise the resource pool in the skills centre,” Mr Karunaratne said.

“For example, if an overseas IT services company is engaged in a local company to provide services, we expect them to utilise the skills centre to transfer their knowledge.”

He said a FUFP-led government would ensure that the ratio of 1:5 applied, which means one expatriate engaged in a project with a local company, must transfer his knowledge to five locals.

“Eventually, the idea is for the five locals to be upskilled to take over the position(s) in the local company.

“We should not blindly reject skilled immigrants, complaining that they are taking up our jobs,” he said.

“But there must be a mechanism to ensure that they leave their brains behind when they leave the country.

“There must be clear obligations set up at policy level to ensure that their knowledge is transferred or proper succession planning has been executed.”

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