The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon Prof. Biman Prasad, participated at the 2023 Human Capital Ministerial Conclave plenary session on Friday, 13 October, during the margins of the 2023 Annual meeting for World Bank and IMF held in Marrakech, Morocco.
The World Bank Human Development Vice President, Mamta Murthi, chaired the session, which was also participated by Finance Ministers from Pakistan, Djibouti and Kenya.
DPM Prasad talked about “How can governments leverage the private sector to reskill and upskill workers?”. He stated that there is significant value in technical, vocational, and enterprise education and training (TVET) programs in schools and tertiary institutions.
TVET is the modern-day solution towards transforming the Fijian economy to greater heights through expanding its human capital, i.e., skilled workers.
DPM Prasad also stated that migration is a significant issue for Fiji, where in the last 18 months, around 10 per cent of the formal workforce has left our shores for our more developed neighbouring countries.
He stated that rebuilding the technical education system and addressing the skills gap issue in the country. The Fijian Government will now invest in this and work with existing service providers, including the newly established Pacific Polytech.
He also added that the Government is improving the processes at the Immigration Department to ease the work permit process and to assist the private sector in getting more workers in Fiji for the needy areas in the short term as we battle the loss of our skills to overseas countries.
Fiji is focusing on skills development and training at all levels of Fiji’s educational system, and the private sector is playing an essential role in this.
DPM Prasad added that the Government has re-established the Strategic Planning Office within the Ministry of Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics.
The Human Resource Planning Unit within the Strategic Planning Office is responsible for national workforce planning, including developing and formulating the new National Human Resource Plan 2023-2027.