- MORE EMPLOYMENT AS GROWTH CONTINUES – FIJI’S five years of positive economic growth has led to a reduction in the country’s unemployment rate with more people entering the job market.
- FIJI STRENGTHENS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH AFGHANISTAN-In a historical ceremony, Fiji strengthened its diplomatic relations with another South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) country as Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan, presented his credentials to the President of Afghanistan as Fiji’s First Ambassador to Afghanistan.
- SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SHARE KNOWLEDGE-The second seminar on the Implementation of Outcomes of Senior Officials Leadership Training was opened today by the Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand.
- FIJIANS URGED TO MAKE GOOD USE OF RESOURCES-People of Naitasiri have been urged to make better of use of their resources during the closing of the Government Roadshow in Laselevu yesterday.
- FARMERS TO ASSIST IN ERADICATING CHILD LABOUR-The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment is conducting a Child Labour Awareness Training for sugarcane farmers this week with the aim to heighten the fight against child labour in the sugarcane industry.
- MORE EMPLOYMENT AS GROWTH CONTINUES
FIJI’S five years of positive economic growth has led to a reduction in the country’s unemployment rate with more people entering the job market.
Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Mr Jone Usamate said the figures collected during the 2010-2011 survey shows that unemployment rate has come down to 6.9 per cent from the previous 8.6 per cent.
“The Reserve Bank of Fiji has registered more vacancy advertisements and the Fiji National Provident Fund says there have been more new members registering than those leaving,” Mr Usamate said.
“What this shows is that there are jobs and people are getting employed.”
Mr Usamate has rebutted a recent media report that 83,000 unemployed people had registered under the Ministry’s National Employment Centre when in fact the figure was 33,000.
Furthermore, Mr Usamate said the Ministry had traced 12,000 of those registered and successfully contacted 3,213 whereby it found that 70 per cent of these had either found employment, started their own business, were doing an attachment somewhere or had gone back for further studies.
“For the past four years we have had positive economic growth, which is rare for Fiji, and this year will be the fifth. We all know that when there is economic growth, more people get employed,” Mr Usamate said.
The NEC develops and assists the unemployed to find employment and also provides quality human resource development for clients, to facilitate their absorption into the formal employment market.
2. FIJI STRENGTHENS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH AFGHANISTAN
In a historical ceremony, Fiji strengthened its diplomatic relations with another South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) country as Fiji’s High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan, presented his credentials to the President of Afghanistan His Excellency Hamid Karzai, as Fiji’s First Ambassador to Afghanistan.
Ambassador Karan described President Karzai as a charismatic and enthusiastic leader who has a deep understanding of politics and diplomacy.
In receiving the credentials, President Karzai conveyed his best wishes to His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and voiced his pleasure over establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
He also wished Ambassador Karan success in his mission.
In response, Ambassador Karan pledged to work for expansion of ties between Fiji and Afghanistan.
During his visit to Kabul, Ambassador Karan also met with other senior ministers of the Afghanistan Government including the Minister of Foreign Affairs – Hon. Zarar Ahmad Osmani and Minister of Commerce and Industries – Hon. Muzamil Shinwari.
Discussions during the meeting revolved around trade and exports to Fiji as Afghanistan produces one of the finest carpets in the world and mines for world-famous precious stones.
Afghanistan is currently going through its second round of elections with record representation of voters in 2014 elections.
Fijian soldiers have served in various missions with the British Army in Afghanistan for many years. Approximately 20 Fijian soldiers are currently serving with the British Army in key troubled areas of the country.
Ambassador Karan extended his best wishes to the President and people of Afghanistan for peace and prosperity on behalf of the Fijian people and president.
He also extended an invitation to President Karzai to visit Fiji at a time convenient to him.
3. SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SHARE KNOWLEDGE
The second seminar on the Implementation of Outcomes of Senior Officials Leadership Training was opened today by the Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand.
The daylong Seminar will focus on sharing knowledge gained by senior government officials who attended the China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP) Leadership Training Programme in 2013.
The facilitators will share the learning and experience that was gained from their educational stint abroad with 50 participants from middle management and senior management level from different Ministries and Departments of the Fijian Government.
Mr Chand said the respective delegation heads will share their learning experience in the areas of:
1. Improving Leadership in the Public Service;
2. Strengthening Productivity in the Public Service; and
3. Adopting Relevant and Best Practices for Improved Service Delivery.
Mr Chand added that the seminar was part of government’s Public Service Reforms.
“We are trying to improve capabilities and strengthen professionalism within the Public Service,” Mr Chand said.
Fiji sent a total of 45 dedicated senior officials for training at the China Executive Leadership Academy in Pudong in 2013.
Another group of 20 officers, not only from the government but also from organizations such as the Fiji Development Bank, Housing Authority, iTaukei Affairs Board, Suva & Lautoka City Council and the Land Transport Authority, recently returned from successfully participating in the CELAP Programme in China.
- FIJIANS URGED TO MAKE GOOD USE OF RESOURCES
People of Naitasiri have been urged to make better of use of their resources during the closing of the Government Roadshow in Laselevu yesterday.
Minister for Agriculture, Primary Industries, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said Fiji has an abundance of resources such as land which needs to be fully utilised in order to avoid spending millions of dollars importing overseas produce to meet local demands.
“We have an abundance of natural resources such as land but we are not fully utilising this important resource. If people make use of their resources Fiji will not be spending millions of dollars overseas,” Mr Seruiratu said.
“Fiji is still spending millions of dollars buying produce from overseas. If we fully utilise our resources these millions of dollars won’t leave our shores.”
He said it is the role of Government to develop remote areas of Fiji and people must capitalise on that.
“Let me remind you that government development will be ongoing. Government is doing its part in building roads, making electricity accessible to the people and providing social welfare benefits But we as Fijians need to play our part and make very good use of these developments by making good use of our resources,” Seruiratu said.
“We should not be idle. We must work hard and make use resources in order for our family to have a stable source of income and contribute to the Fijian economy.”
The second Government roadshow was held at the Wainimala Secondary School ground in Laselevu, Naitasiri from May 28 to 29, 2014.
5. FARMERS TO ASSIST IN ERADICATING CHILD LABOUR
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment is conducting a Child Labour Awareness Training for sugarcane farmers this week with the aim to heighten the fight against child labour in the sugarcane industry.
The two day training at the Labasa Civic Centre which came to an end today saw 65 sugarcane farmers educated on issues related to child labour, child abuse and withdrawal of children from labour to admit them back to school.
Minister for Labour, Jone Usamate said the training focused on particular issues faced by children illegally employed in sugarcane fields.
“It focused on particular issues faced by children when they are illegally employed in the sugarcane fields and the implications it has on a child’s development and future, and ways in which we can address these problems,” Mr Usamate said.
The workshop also enabled farmers to learn with practical exercise the Ministry’s Child Labour Reporting System for effective reporting of child labour cases identified in the sugarcane fields.
“While child labour cases are not too prevalent in the sugar industry, the Ministry would like to take all necessary steps to ensure that its very existence is eliminated.
Government is committed to ensuring more investment is made on children’s development and elimination of child labour from the country,” Mr Usamate said.
He highlighted that for the first in the history of this country, Government has made education free for primary and secondary schools with provisions for tertiary qualification assistance through the Toppers and Scholarship Schemes.
“The Ministry has implemented successful programs to address child labour issues in the sugarcane industry where we have trained more than 40 Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) and Sugar Cane Growers Council officers on monitoring and reporting of child labour cases to the Ministry,” Mr Usamate added.
“As a result, from 2010 the sugarcane farmers have received around 22 million dollars as fair trade grants for compliance with the International Fair Trade Rules of not involving children in cane harvesting and hazardous work in the cane fields.”
Mr Usamate also confirmed that Fiji has been rated as one of the best countries by the European Union (EU) for effectively implementing the Tackling Child Labour through Education (TACKLE) project of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
However, he said the fight against child labour continues and requires more concerted efforts by individuals, organizations, families and communities.
The training was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Sugar, Ministry of Education, the Social Welfare Department, the Sugar Cane Growers Council, Fiji Sugar Cooperation and the Labasa Cane Producing Association.
The training was also a build up towards the World Day against Child Labour which will be celebrated on June 12.