Report highlights ways to grow employment across the country

Skill shortages are a major hindrance to employment growth – this is according to a report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the United Nations Development Programme on Papua New Guinea’s labour market.

The 32-page report “Fulfilling the land of opportunity: How to grow employment in Papua New Guinea” is based on a joint survey of over 230 businesses in Port Moresby, Madang, Mt Hagan and Lae in late 2017.

Covering five employment sectors from management and hospitality to clerical and administrative occupations, the report identified key factors preventing firms from hiring more staff, what skills businesses determine are most in need, practical impacts of the skills shortages and how Papua New Guinea can help grow employment.

Roy Trivedy, UNDP Resident Representative says this Report aims to provide a useful information base for policy makers, academics and businesses among other institutes to identify ways to grow employment across the country. The research shows the employment market is currently constrained with 60% of firms not expecting their headcount to increase over the next 12 months.

Lyndel Melrose, Partner, Consulting Services, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu said this research highlights some of the barriers and recommendations to support the growth of employment in PNG.

It’s clear from our report that we need to up skill more people, with 83% of firms indicating local skill shortages as a barrier to growing employment. For the wholesale, hospitality and retail sectors - skills shortages are the number one factor affecting recruitment.

In addition to skills shortages, 71% of businesses said human factors were a barrier to hiring more staff, including staff productivity, attendance and punctuality.


Jobs and skills most in need: 

•Management positions are the hardest to fill, with 76% of respondents reporting difficulty, followed by Professional services roles (lawyers and accountants), with just over half (51%) of respondents reporting difficulty

•Some individual positions within hospitality, wholesale and retail rank very highly as being positions that are hard to fill including food trades (59%) and waiters (39%)

•Skills shortages are magnified when a position requires multiple skills.

Meanwhile, Deloitte and UNDP collectively believe that realising PNG’s many labour market opportunities will require a collaborative and concerted effort by all stakeholders to ensure that the foundations for sustainable economic growth are in place.


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Imelda Wavik