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Construction workers, mechanics – Fiji targets foreign skilled workers to boost economy

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The Fiji government has resolved to reform its immigration department to allow skilled workers from other countries to fill job vacancies in the Pacific island country.

The Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, Pio Tikoduadua told journalists on Thursday Fiji was now at the point where the lack of available skills in critical areas threatened the country’s economic growth.

He said some of the most dynamic economies in the world, including the United States, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) got their skills from other countries, and Fiji needed to do the same.

The minister added that Fiji does not have enough construction workers, mechanics, and machine operators, and the immigration policy must adapt to the challenges.

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Tikoduadua said the government would put forward in a matter of weeks, several simple process changes that would significantly cut the workloads of the immigration department staff and improve turnaround times on permit applications.

“Documentary requirements would be reduced, and payment as well as certification processes sped up,” he stated.

The minister said immigration officials would follow the lead of other countries hunting for scarce skills and identify priority skills sectors for which documentary requirements would be minimized.

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