23 Apr 2010

PNG govt urged to build up capacity of tertiary institutions and technical colleges

6:52 am on 23 April 2010

The director of Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, says the government needs to bolster the capacity of tertiary institutions and technical colleges to help address the country's shortage of skilled labour.

PNG's Prime Minister this week admitted that the shortage of skilled labour in his country is brought on in part by the LNG project.

Paul Barker claims the project is likely to pull in many different skilled labourers from other key sectors.

"The technical colleges are forfeiting skilled engineers, technicians, welding trainers and so on, to go to LNG and other mining projects. So we're losing the people who are training the next generation. So those technical colleges then have to go and knock on the doors of donor partners or go overseas and recruit sometimes high-cost overseas staff to fill the gap."

He says technical colleges have been ignored by the government for too long.