Fiji is hiring workers from Asia because of a shortage of tile and bricklayers in the island nation.
The Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was addressing Year 13 students at a high school prizegiving ceremony in Tailevu on Saturday.
He said Fiji lost many of its professionals to migration.
"We are importing workers from Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia because we have a shortage of people who know how to lay tiles professionally. There is a shortage of people because some of our good tile and brick layers have been taken up by New Zealand. They have a shortage of people there," he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged the parents not to push their children into careers they were not interested in.
Instead, he said parents should encourage their children to do what they are good at.
"I know that it is a trend in Fiji that everyone wants to become a lawyer or engineer," he said.
"But your child might be very good in carpentry or might have a good sense of professionalism and might want to become a nurse."
"Let them pursue a career they feel comfortable with because they will do their best and that is critically important."