December 6, 2018

An exciting coalition was formed between Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Australian Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) focusing on Pacific Skills in Nauru last week. The partnership is expected to create greater opportunities for PIPSO members –  the Pacific private sector, to be more engaged in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) agenda.

Sandeep Chauhan, Chair of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) spoke on PIPSO’s behalf at the Pacific Skills launch where he talked about the PIPSO Strategic Plan and its focus on building strong and responsive NPSOs and enhancing business competitiveness.“PIPSO members are primarily the National Private Sector Organisations (NPSOs) of the Pacific who are guided by the PIPSO Strategic Plan. Having the right skills at both the business and operational level, and at the industry association/coalition level is key to meeting these focus areas.”, Mr. Chauhan said.

“We know all too well the associated to costs of recruitment, training and re-training, and employment generally.  This is why such partnerships as this with APTC is crucial within the private sector”, he said. “The statistics and messaging is quite well known – that many people are trained but generally lack skills and experience required in the workplace; the persistent shortage of skilled middle- and high-level human resources at the going rate of remuneration in the labour market; and high percentage of employees with critical skills leaving their employment as the consequence of emigration means fewer qualified personnel and/or trades.”, Mr. Chauhan added.

Under the partnership, which is facilitated at the regional level through PIPSO, APTC have the opportunity to work with NPSOs and industry associations, networks, and businesses/employers, in their respective countries on discussions on TVET policy formulation, priority setting, and labour demand forecasting – all of which is ultimately about meeting both employer & national employment needs.

PIPSO encouraged its members to be part of the dialogue in-country to ensure that private sector needs are articulated and communicated accordingly.  The organisation also hopes that the partnership will help address major challenges faced by the private sector in terms of adequate supply of trained workers to meet the requirements of both overseas and domestic labour markets and meets industry specific expectations.

PIPSO looks forward to working with APTC in pushing forth the national agenda and further strengthening its engagement with Academia through the University of the South Pacific (USP), under this partnership.

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