|Case Studies on Technical and Vocational Education in Asia and the Pacific - Fiji (UNEVOC - ACEID, 1996, 28 p.)|
From all accounts vocational training in Fiji continues at the same tempo as it did pre-coups and with a remarkable lack of a sense of urgency to forge new policies and directions. Towards this end, a Government statement on training issued at the 1991 National Economic Summit sounds a warning bell viz:
Expansion in the manufacturing sector is placing a strain on the availability of a pool of skilled labour. Training organizations such as the Fiji Institute of Technology and the Fiji National Training Council are responding to this need. Efforts are being made to ensure that training is responsive to the requirements of the private sector, and that the private sector plays as great a role as possible in training.
It becomes very clear therefore at the macro level that there is a need to examine the extent to which as many of the training organizations as possible can be linked with one another in a way that will avoid any duplication of effort and result in the most efficient division of labour and utilization of scarce resources. Co-ordination of effort is therefore absolutely essential.
One way of achieving this is to set up by statute an umbrella organization with a tripartite configuration which is empowered to effect this co-ordination. Such a body would not conflict with the FNTC which should be re-titled the Fiji Training and Productivity Council and which should then become more active through its Training and Productivity Boards in providing consultancies for the promotion of productivity concepts in the workplace, as well as continue with the short skills enhancement courses that it has been providing hitherto. Such a development would have implications on staff quality at the FNTC.
In order to keep up with new technological advances in industry the FIT needs to be freed from the shackles that binds it to the rigid rules of a Government department and to be given autonomy, preferably as a statutory body, to develop into a degree or high national diploma awarding institution. Fortunately this move has already begun and it is hoped that the process can be concluded within a reasonable time frame.