Provide workers with the tools

Letters, Normal

I AM disappointed in the way some companies and individuals are pointing fingers over the reported shortage of local skilled manpower for the LNG project.
I refer to the letter “Graduates not up to the mark” (Nov 16) by “Employer”.
I think the writer should take a good look in the mirror before undermining PNG’s manpower capabilities.
If the writer wants to compare Papua New Guineans with others, then there is a need to look at the fundamental factors that hinder our progress in any employment.
We have the knowledge, skills and attitude.
If you are an employer or boss, how do you bring out the best from a Papua New Guinean?
Many graduates are keen to learn and perform to the best of their abilities.
But as employers, managers, training officers, etc, we need to facilitate training and learning in order to get the best out of all Papua New Guineans.
I think we should not blame people for their incompetence, but to facilitate training and learning to get the best out of them.
Therefore, we need to do the following:
* We need to understand our employees’ cultures and traditions to get the best out of them;
* We need to create good working environments to allow people to fully utilise their knowledge, skills and natural talents to perform their duties; 
* We need to create career path development for our citizens for them to perform to the best of their abilities;
* We need to set a salary and wages ceiling for all Papua New Guineans in accordance to their qualifications and experience, and the type of job or position they occupy; and
* The current dual salary and wages system is killing the morale of all Papua New Guineans both in the public and private sector.
So, please take a look at these issues and address them accordingly, if employers want the best from Papua New Guineans.
We are very committed, innovative, creative and intelligent in our respective job areas but we were not given the opportunity to prove ourselves as genuine contributors to the development and prosperity. 
Therefore, as a concerned Papua New Guinean, I am appealing to the Government and private sector employers to raise their salary and wage ceilings and/or look at improving the employment terms and conditions instead of blaming or undermining our capabilities.
We should not use this current LNG project as an excuse to undermine our own people because it is a new working environment.
Instead, we should treat this current situation positively to design amicable human resource policies and training systems to address issues affecting performance of employees and their progress in their specific job roles and their career path development.
Giving judgmental comments and/or undermining our own people’s intellectual capabilities is not the way to go but give them the opportunity to prove themselves.
Our systems are adopted from our colonial masters including education, standards, etc, yet we blame ourselves for not conforming to these systems.
As a result, it is imperative for the Government of the day to look at improving or equipping our universities, colleges, vocational schools and other training institutions with the necessary resources to keep abreast with the current changes in technology, people’s mindsets, knowledge and skills and the structural changes within organisations.
Understanding our employees’ capabilities and talents and placing them in the right places or positions with the right terms and conditions will allow them to utilise the knowledge and skills learnt from schools they graduated from.
So please do not look at one side of the coin and make judgments, but look at the whole person and develop him or her from the inside out to get the best out of them.
As a saying, motivation isn’t about lighting a fire under a person; but rather it’s about lighting a fire within a person. 


Nangang Duvu