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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Foreign Workers taking over all the employments in PNG : Report

Foreign Workers in Oro Province being questioned by Governor Juffa last month
There are more foreign workers in Papua New Guinea who are taking over jobs that locals can do. Also there is minimal transfer of skills from those foreign workers to the nationals.

This is a finding in a report just released by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI) titled "PNG’s work permit system and non-citizen workforce".

The report was written by senior research fellow with NRI’s Economic Policy Research program Carmen Vopigt-Graf and carried into an area the institute said has never been explored.

The report notes:

The number of work permit holders has risen over the years;
The industries reliant on non-citizen workers are construction, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry fishing and mining; and
Most have been brought in as managers, technicians and trade workers
It further highlights that the two main objectives of the system are to enable business to import skills without necessary impediments and promote the employment of PNG by reserving low skilled positions for them and by facilitating skills transfer from work permit holders to locals.

The report states that from the business end, the system has been functioning well as had been witnessed during the height of the PNG LNG construction phase where there had been an unprecedented increase in the number of non-citizens.

However, in contrast it argues that the skill transfer component has arguably not been achieved.

The report states this is partly a consequence of a lack of monitoring and enforcement and the granting of many exemptions particularly with regards to language requirements.

"On paper the Work permit system is relatively balanced. However, lack of monitoring and enforcement and the granting of many exceptions has lead to a situation where PNG workers are arguably disadvantaged by the system. For instance Papua New Guineans rarely benefit from skills transfer that are suppose to be an embedded component of the system," the report states.

Among the policy recommendations made in the paper is for authorities to step up on monitoring and enforcement of the system and that fewer exemptions be granted.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 5:45 PM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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