18 Aug 2004

Fiji call to halt brain drain

1:57 pm on 18 August 2004

Fiji's labour minister says the country needs to provide more training because of the brain drain to neighbouring countries.

Radio Legend says this follows the New Zealand government's decision to relax immigration laws for some Pacific island countries to allow for the entry of skilled workers as it faces a labour shortage in certain industries.

Kenneth Zinck says there will be a flood of people going to New Zealand.

Mr Zinck says in view of this, there needs to be more training and a bond for qualified people to stay in Fiji for three to four years.

The labour minister says Fiji cannot afford to lose all its expertise to New Zealand or Australia.

Fiji has been facing a severe brain drain since the two Rabuka military coups of 1987 and again after the Speight coup.