Paradise - - Contents -

The hu­man re­sources chal­lenges in Pa­pua New Guinea are dif­fer­ent from de­vel­oped economies be­cause so much of the work­force is in the in­for­mal sec­tor. Ac­cord­ing to the con­sul­tancy Deloitte, 2.5 mil­lion peo­ple work in the in­for­mal econ­omy, com­pared with about 500,000 in the for­mal sec­tor.

The chal­lenge is thus to en­cour­age work­ers to mi­grate into the for­mal sec­tor. One chal­lenge, ac­cord­ing to Deloitte, is to look at poli­cies around for­eign work­ers. “In the short term, the use of for­eign labour is es­sen­tial to the con­tin­u­a­tion of Pa­pua New Guinea’s growth and de­vel­op­ment agenda,” a Deloitte re­port says.

“How­ever, in the long term, it is crit­i­cal to en­sure that only those skills for which there is no lo­cal equiv­a­lent are brought into the coun­try. De­vel­op­ing a na­tional skill needs list is a key first step.”

The re­port says adapt­ing and im­prov­ing ed­u­ca­tion to im­prove skills de­vel­op­ment is a pri­or­ity and it is also im­por­tant to lessen job turnover. “Find­ing the right skills is only half the chal­lenge; the other is re­tain­ing them. High turnover rates add an enor­mous cost to busi­nesses by forc­ing them to con­tin­u­ally hire and train new staff in a never end­ing cy­cle.”

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