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The Republic of Fiji is in the process of establishing a labor market information system (LMIS) that will help the government monitor the employment situation and make better-informed policy and strategy decisions. The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) was requested by Fiji’s Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations (MEPIR) to support that effort by assigning technical experts to share insights on setting up the LMIS. Pacifique Karinda of Rwanda was identified as an appropriate expert to provide guidance since that country has established an effective LMIS.
A five-day workshop was held 26–30 June 2017, at which Fijian stakeholders from the Bureau of Statistics, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Ministry of Education, Higher Education Commission, Immigration Office, National Provident Fund, Commerce and Employers’ Federation, Trade Union Congress, Ministry of Youth, and Revenue and Customs Authority were invited to be part of the first two days.
The workshop was inaugurated by MEPIR Permanent Secretary Salaseini Serulagilagi Daunabuna. Highlighting the importance of the APO workshop in helping the ministry establish the national LMIS, Daunabuna said, “We expect a lot from the workshop and have been waiting for it for some time. I encourage the participants to make use of it.”
The workshop helped the participants understand the role of the LMIS in informed decision making on the current and future labor market. As one representative of the Fiji Higher Education Commission acknowledged, “This is what we have been missing in Fiji: the linkage between labor supply and demand.”
The priorities of the Fiji LMIS were identified, with 11 modules proposed and agreed upon by the MEPIR. Highlighting the importance of the modules, MEPIR Minister Jone Usamate said that he agreed that these were the key modules needed by the experts in Fiji at the moment. “I am looking forward to see them up and running,” he stated.
The workshop concluded with an intensive two-day session involving the MEPIR IT team, who drafted the higher-level architecture of the Fiji LMIS. That draft will serve as the blueprint for the ministry as it applies the system nationwide.