PNG NRI Director, Dr Osborne Sanida says there is a problem in the labor market due to the mismatch between labor supply and the demand.
He explained that the labour supply is what comes out of the training and education system, whilst the demand refers to employers. He said demand is limited, whilst supply is never ending in society.
Dr Sanida says, “From a policy perspective, the government has the free education policy. Which is very good in terms of how we can increase the literacy for our country.”
“But, from the economic side, there is an issue. When you have free policy (education) that means that more children are going through the education system and coming out of the education system. There is limited space to go up to tertiary. What do we do with the rest that have to go out of the education system?”
Dr Sanida said, “When we talk of training we need to not talk about just training for employment but training for those who will be employers. Because that is how we will address the problem. Generally, our education system is made in such that you are training them to look for jobs.”
Dr Sanida emphasized that jobs are limited. He encouraged that training needs to also be targeted to those who are potential employers so they can employ more people. He encouraged the concept of selfemployment.
Geoffrey Kinsella Director, National Training Council, DLIR on the topic of ‘Employer Provided Training or General Training Approval and is it needs based’ identified key training needs lacking in the country.
Kinsella said his team analyzed 138 three-year training plans from various companies, finding that the three most difficult positions to fill in companies were in the soft skills area – managerial, technical and supervisory levels.
He said there is a missing link between employers, training providers and state run institutions and programs.
In addressing the missing link for needs based training, Kinsella said it is important that government agencies and state institutions identify ‘national training priorities’ or ‘national training needs.’
“So that everyone out there, whether they are providing training as a training institution, individual training institution or as a training unit or division in a company,” said Kinsella. “If we can put it out there that this are the national training priorities.”
“If we can identify those, then the companies, the training providers, while addressing their needs, they can also address the needs of the country. So we can kill two birds with one stone.”
PNG NRI Council Chairman’s Seminar Series provides a platform to inform and update on the work done so far by relevant government departments and agencies; and on collaboration and policy issues to inform the government.