PNG lacking skilled workers, says EU rep


PAPUA New Guinea has lacked skilled workers since independence which has resulted in the hiring of foreign workers by big operations such as mines, says a European Union representative.
Dr Ben Imbun, speaking at the 23rd Umi Vocational School graduation last Friday, said the
technical field has hired many workers from overseas.
“This shows that we do not have enough skilled people to fill the positions in the technical field areas,” he said.
He said an example was the PNG LNG Project construction phase five years ago which saw many foreigners recruited as technical people.
“Parents then had their children’s mindset directed towards white collar jobs and we lost sight of the technical aspects, which is the skilled labour,” Imbun said.
However, the government was slowly changing and technical vocational education training (Tvets) was helping, he said.
He announced that the EU came onboard to help the Umi centre and would fund almost
K10 million worth of infrastructure development for the school.
Imbun said the money would go towards the building of teachers’ houses, dormitories, a computer lab and tools.
“EU is happy to work closely with the Markham DDA (district authority) and the education division in these projects to see that the strategic plans are in place,” he said.
“Students now are challenged to make the most of it and become successful by taking the dream forward.”