Talanoa session held to tackle tourism challenges

January 17, 2024 4:37 pm

A talanoa session held today brought together key stakeholders from the tourism industry and representatives from higher education institutions to discuss the challenges hindering the sector’s full potential.

Director of the Higher Education Commission Fiji, Dr. Rohit Kishore, says effective discussions were held during the talanoa session, where a range of issues were highlighted.

“The industry people raised concerns on the areas they need more skills, where there is a shortage and the type of upskill, soft skill communication were some of the areas mentioned, employee attitude, graduate attitude, absenteeism was another one, the attitude of people to go to work and be effective, a number of other things came up, hard skills and soft skills both were discussed.”

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Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Selina Kuruleca says there is a need to address the mismatch between the skills required by employers and the qualifications possessed by potential employees.

“This is not a blame game. We have moved on from 2020; a lot of us have learned a lot about what happened during COVID and how we needed to change a lot of our processes. This is what the meeting is about, what have we done and what we need to do different to ensure that we employ our young people instead of them sitting around idle, and how are you able to keep tourists coming to our country while also competing with countries like Bali?”

The session revealed a series of pressing issues, such as skills gaps and labour shortages, discipline, and training, that need immediate attention to ensure the continued success of the tourism industry.