Labour shortage resulting in foreign hires, says AG

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says local companies are hiring specialist workers from abroad because of the migration of skilled labourers from Fiji to other countries. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

LOCAL companies are hiring specialist workers from abroad because of the migration of skilled labourers from Fiji to countries such as New Zealand.

This according to Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made the comment while speaking in Parliament this week.

“The reality, as I had highlighted, if you go to the construction sector today, there are many construction companies that are actually now bringing in workers from overseas,” he said.

“These are local companies, not Chinese companies, because there are many people in Fiji who, either have gone overseas because of construction in the trades area.

“So, as I had highlighted in Parliament before, when Christchurch had the earthquake, we had lot of our tradespeople who were sought after.

“In fact, they were poached by the New Zealanders. New Zealand has the crisis in respect of tradespeople, so a lot of them stayed back.

“Secondly, New Zealand also has a shortage of teachers, for example, in maths, physics and those practical areas. Our teachers have gone there.

“As I had highlighted again in Parliament in the last session, in one week, a New Zealand company poached 25 high voltage lines people who do work for EFL. They went to New Zealand too.

“There is a lot of attrition as a result of movement of people.

“So the reality is that we find our construction companies bringing in workers for example, from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines.”

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