In Fiji, investment in human capital has been placed in the background for decades, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Speaking at the opening the BSP Fiji Human Resources Institute National Convention 2017 at the Sofitel Resort and Spa yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum addressed over 250 participants, including chief executive officers, human resource managers and personnel from the private sector and Government attending the two day convention.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said human resources had not been given the level of prominence as it should.
“From the civil service perspective, those who have been running HR (Human Resources) departments in many ministries have not been well resourced. They have been treated as people within administrative positions where they have climbed the hierarchy and have become managers of human resources,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“This showed the low level of importance human resources departments had been given.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also cited cases of Fiji having no specialised people in certain medical areas amongst other parts of the workforce, pointing out that we don’t have specialisation in Fiji because we have had a lack of understanding and a lack of willingness to invest into our human resources.
“To be able to develop that capacity we need to have the right people in the HR department,” he said.
“To be able to bring people to a certain capacity, you need to invest in them and it could take time. We need to be able to build capacity in the nation as a whole to be able to address those issues.”
He said Fiji’s latest economic growth rate of over four per cent showed the status of country.
“But that growth rate can become stagnant if we don’t grab it or put in the right human resources.”
He referred to an example where Fiji, in the 21st century did not have a single speech therapist.
“If we don’t make those interventions and don’t have the ability to address those issues and the human resources to address it, then we are depriving ourselves as a country of seeing that person reach their full capacity.”