NRI highlights issues in road construction

The National Research Institute (NRI) has recently released an issue paper titled Road construction employment in Papua New Guinea.

The report focuses on employment issues in construction and maintenance of non-national roads in five different provinces - Madang, Eastern Highlands, Gulf, Milne Bay and New Ireland.

The paper discusses the employment opportunities road construction provides to rural Papua New Guineans, especially from communities close to the project sites.

The report stated that the quality of formal training is generally poor and as a result, few Papua New Guineans have formal qualifications in the field.

Furthermore, the increasing number of foreign construction companies operating in PNG has become a concern in all case study provinces because foreign companies often bring bulk of their workforce from overseas, even for lower skilled positions.

According to the Paper, this practice seriously affects employment opportunities for Papua New Guineans to work in road construction and maintenance projects.

The Report aims to fill in a gap in the literature by investigating road employment in private businesses and government departments, labour supply, skill shortages, the role of provincial labour offices and the employment of foreign workers in PNG.

(Part of the Buluminksi Highway in New Ireland Province)

Freddy Mou