Former Business Council of PNG president David Toua said the labour market was ill-prepared for optimum benefit distribution of the PNG LNG project.
“The LNG project came to town at about the mid-2000. I think it was about 2007 when the construction phase started and 2013 they had already gone operational. So, essentially the peak boom period was from 2007 to 2012,” Toua said.
“I think there are some lessons to be leant as to how we manage the employment and education of our people during that time.
“There was real need and demand for labour and once the Papua LNG goes into construction phase, that demand will come back.
“The lesson to be learnt from this is that we have to prepare for the creation of that labour force so that it is sustainable.
“We can use that labour force after the construction of the phase of Papua LNG and other major projects.”
His successor Robert Nilkare said there should be cooperation between the government and businesses to address labour fluctuations associated with large projects.
“A lot of people were employed and a number of contracts going out. And there was a lot of business activities. But there were no measures to sustain it,” Nilkare said.
“That’s the difficult thing that the government has to take on as well as businesses, because the project comes along and employment rises but after that there is a sharp drop.
“The government really needs to look at down-streaming the resources that we have from agriculture all the way to the extractive sector. It will also require businesses to take an active role in this.” The National