Foreign workers vetted

National, Normal
The National,Friday June 3rd, 2016

LABOUR Minister Benjamin Poponawa says the Government has rejected the renewal of work permits for foreigners occupying jobs which locals can do.
He said he had personally rejected the renewals of work permits for foreigners employed, for example, as crane operators, truck drivers, carpenters and electricians.
Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape had asked Poponawa what was being done about foreigners occupying jobs that locals could do.
Poponawa said employment was driven by supply and demand and his department had tried as much as possible to ensure that locals benefitted from the labour market.
“I also have requested the review of the old system of approving work permits,” he said.
“There is a review process in place now.”
“It is just a matter of me bringing that paper to cabinet to get endorsement and approval on the process of approving work permits.”
Poponawa said although the department could not dictate to employers who to employ, it was trying its best to tell employers to consider employing locals.
Meanwhile, Correctional Service Minister Jim Simatab said he was yet to get feasibility study reports to build two prisons in West New Britain. Simatab said prison officers responsible for providing the feasibility studies to build lock-ups in Gloucester and Kandrian stations had not submitted them.
Kandrian-Gloucester MP Joseph Lelang told Simatab that his District Development Authority had given K100,000 to the CS Commissioner for the feasibility studies in 2014 but there had been no reply.