Fijians who seek a career in the Meat industry will soon be able to pursue a trade qualification after the approval of three new National Qualifications (NQs).
The Fiji Qualifications Council (FQC) has recently approved the Certificate in Meat Processing (Abattoir)(Level 2) and National Certificates in Meat Processing (Butcher)(Levels 2 and 3).
The focus on the National Certificates development began after it was identified that a lot of Fiji’s skilled labour in the meat industry have opted to join the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) to work in Australia.
Leylands Meat Ltd Development Manager, Mr Steven Yee commented that the warning signs they saw were the huge number of staff resigning to work for meat plants in Australia under the PLS.
“We are fortunate to be part of the process in developing the qualifications to contribute to skills development for Fiji,” said Mr Yee.
The NQs will assist efforts to supply the meat industry with qualified workers with the relevant skills and knowledge and to uplift the standards of the meat processing operations in Fiji.
Fiji Meat Industry Board (FMIB) CEO, Mr Vimal Chand expressed that they are optimistic to be able to send workers for further training when these qualifications are being offered by institutions.
Meat processing workers perform a wide range of tasks, including handling, slaughtering and processing livestock, operating processing and rendering equipment, dispatching products, and keeping records.
Meat processing facilities in Fiji have been conducting their in-house training and engaging international trainers to up-skill their workers.
Currently, no Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Fiji is offering any trade-related meat works qualification. The Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) is calling on HEIs in Fiji to uptake and deliver these newly developed qualifications. This will improve the standard of the meatworks industry and provide a pool of skilled labour to meet the industry demand.