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Skills shortage seen as obstacle to growth

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By PERO SIMINJI
A NEW report launched by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Papua New Guinea’s labour market says that skills shortages are a major hindrance to employment growth.
The 32-page report “Fulfilling the Land of Opportunity: How to grow employment in Papua New Guinea” is based on a joint survey of more than 230 businesses in Port Moresby, Madang, Mt Hagan and Lae in the first two quarters of this year.
UNDP resident representative Roy Trivedy told a press conference that the report aimed to provide a useful information base for policy makers, academics, businesses, training providers and other interested parties to identify ways to grow employment across the country.
“Our research shows that the employment market is currently constrained with 60 per cent of firms not expecting their headcount to increase over the next 12 months, so this is a real incentive to explore new initiatives to create jobs,” Trivedy said.
Lyndel Melrose, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Consulting Services partner said the research highlighted some of the barriers and recommendations to support growth of employment in PNG.
“It’s clear from our report that we need to upskill more people, with 83 per cent 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,” Melrose said.

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