Problems arising from labor migration need to be addressed

January 10, 2023 7:50 am

Continuous training of workers should be an integral part of business strategy to ensure continuity of operation says Asian Development Bank’s Senior Economic Officer Isoa Wainiqolo.

According to the Asian Development Bank’s latest Pacific Economic Monitor, that as of mid-2019, more than 222,000 Fiji-born people resided abroad, with 95 percent living in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States.

The report highlights that a positive effect of emigration has been to boost remittances which play a critical role in stabilizing Fiji’s external position and providing much needed cash to Fijians during the pandemic.

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It says remittances are likely to continue to grow over the medium term, yet the potential for brain drain to exacerbate skills gaps is an emerging concern.

ADB’s Senior Economic Officer Isoa Wainiqolo says these headwinds need to be addressed to sustain the current pace of economic recovery.

“It can affect recovery effort at this stage especially if the strong growing sectors or the sectors Fiji is relying upon all of a sudden loses skilled laborer’s it can affect recovery efforts that why it’s important that we have mitigations plans in place to fill in that gap when it comes.”

Wainiqolo stresses that training is vital to address the problems that are arising from labor migration.