THE Governor General, Sir David Vunagi, has called for the establishment of a ‘general consensus plan’ for the training and effective utilisation of the country’s human resource.
Sir David made the call in his 2023 National New Year’s Address over the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
He said after 44 years of independence, Solomon Islands should now be able to define its manpower needs, adding that in the pre-independence era, scholarships were offered to successful candidates who would occupy jobs available for them when they graduate.
“That is not happening now because we are offering scholarships for students who do not have jobs to come back to.
“In view of that we must establish a general consensus plan, where our training for human resources development can take us to. It is only those who do not know where they are going can afford to travel without a map.”
The Governor General said it has been a practice in the country that school leavers drift to urban centres in search of job opportunities despite the fact that the constituencies that make up the country’s nine provinces are resource-owners.
He as the Provincial Governments are indirect resource owners, they should engage in economic activities to provide job opportunities for the working age population in their provinces.
“Let us not put all our eggs in the national basket,” he emphasised.
Sir David, thereby, added that he believes the economic impact of COVID-19 was exacerbated by the country’s lack of proper management for its natural resources.
“The country loses money in the millions, when raw materials like mineral ores, logs and fish are exported direct to overseas markets. Mining and logging industries should be governed by well documented set of compliances that the national government, provincial government, resource owners and the company concerned must comply with,” he said.
The Governor General said failing that, only the Logging or Mining Company benefits from the operation while all the other three parties are only regarded as incidental beneficiaries who do not seem to have legal rights to anything from the operation.
Sir David also touched on the importance of the procession of raw material in the country to ensure a stable national economy and employment for Solomon Islanders.
“I think that Solomon Islands should have a stable economy and unemployment should be reduced greatly if all raw materials are processed in the country.
“The dilemma of exporting raw materials to overseas markets cost the country both money and job opportunities. Provincial Governments and Resource owners should be encouraged to engage in processing of raw materials in their own areas.”