New approaches are needed to address the challenge of the rising unemployment rates in Papua New Guinea.
At the final day of the National Development Forum, the general consensus was that more could be done to encourage and support skills development and employment opportunities for Papua New Guineans.
It’s no secret that the country has a high unemployment rate, largely because of the scarcity of jobs as well as a skills shortage in urban areas.
Thousands of students pass out of secondary and tertiary institutions with meagre hope in finding employment in the formal sector. And the urban drift brings people from the rural communities to the town centres, but leaves them unemployed.
These high unemployment rates have also raised concerns about the hiring of foreign nationals into the country, employed in jobs that locals should be doing.
It’s a complex issue that requires a synergy of stakeholders working together to strengthen policy and implement, so that all Papua New Guineans can benefit.
The majority of Papua New Guineans, who are employed, are employed in the formal sectors, with access to formal banking for saving and wealth creation and who pay taxes to the government which in a perfect world, goes towards developing infrastructure, maintaining the public sector and so forth.
However, the rest of the vast population who are unemployed are often left behind and turn to other means of survival.
At the workshop today, attendees raised their concerns about the Employment Act being long overdue for an upgrade, urging policy makers and think-tanks to update policies.