Labour market not giving us a chance - The National 26 May 04May 26 2004 at 2:20 PM
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|PNG Patriotic |
Labour market not giving us a chance
I HAVE been looking for a job since I completed my degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Technology in 2001 and not yet found a job but have quietly watched the labour industry about the way policies are drawn that actually locked nationals out of employment circles.
It is quite distressing to see that the PNG labour industry has become somewhat an attracting and lucrative venue to foreigners rather then nationals when it comes to jobs within the middle management and management levels, or simply very basic administrative jobs.
Many Papua New Guineans like others and me who have completed adequate level of education are being pushed towards the fringes of employment opportunities while the government is watching without drawing up drastic policies to protect the industry.
With the rise in the cost of living and unemployment this frustrating agenda is not taken seriously especially by the Labour and Employment Department to control the influx of foreigners employed in PNG.
Can the Labour and Employment Department explain to me and many other educated young Papua New Guineans why they are entertaining foreigners by issuing works permits to every Tom, Dick and Harry who applies for one, whether they are qualified or not?
Capital flight is the result of foreigners transferring huge amount of their savings abroad. They do not lose out on anything since their accommodation, transportation, expensive education of their children in private schools, medical bills and airfares are taken care of by their employers.
They enjoy these benefits while the nationals who are equally qualified and or even better qualified than their expatriate colleagues don't get the same benefits. Instead, they live in squatter settlements, catch the public transport, get an annual leave that does not include airfares to their home province and get a lower salary that cannot stretch further to another payday.
In reality, the expenses of maintaining one expatriate annually can be used to employ about 10 nationals.
The Government is talking about poverty reduction, creating job opportunities, etc. These will not be a reality if the Labour and Employment Department is carrying on like this. There are many foreigners who enter to look for jobs using tourist visas organised by the expatriate's friends in management positions, which they are not supposed to do. I doubt that nationals will be given the same opportunity abroad.
PNG labour industry is allowing a lot of Australian blue-collar workers without any restrictions regardless; in reality Australian labour industry will never return the same labour. They are very strict on PNG nationals working in the Australian economy. Even getting a visa into Australia by PNG nationals is now a difficult thing.
Let it be pointed out that the policy of the labour industry is indirectly treating its citizens as second best while it is protecting foreign interests. Many things have changed; PNG has a lot of educated young minds that are not given the opportunity to develop.
There are too many university and college graduates being unemployed. Parents of these students are wondering about the expensive education their children went through and could not even make it into the labour industry.