The Training Policy
Human resource development, in the
public and private sectors, is a priority of the Government.
To improve the lifestyle of Papua New
Guineans, access to training must be provided. They must have access to
programmes where, if they take the initiative, with the support of their
employer, they have the opportunity to improve their lives and the lives
of their families.
The National Training Council (NTC) is
the Government organisation charged with administering the training
policy. The NTC’s main task is to ensure that training is conducted in
all sectors of industry. Part of its brief is to develop and promote high
standards of training in Papua New Guinea, and to co-ordinate and
distribute, among the private and public sectors, information and
opportunities available in respect of training.
A major, long-term vocational training
programme is being fine-tuned. It is a joint initiative of the Papua New
Guinea Council of Manufacturers and the Australian Chamber of
Manufacturers. The governments of both countries are supporting the
project which is expected to be aid funded.
The majority of factory floor personnel
in Papua New Guinea require further skills training.
The programme will address this by
providing those people with opportunities for further tutoring in the form
of specially-designed vocational training courses. Such courses will be
offered within the country, rather than overseas, as trainees in their own
environs are known to respond more positively to instruction and employers
will be better able to monitor progress and offer encouragement during
Courses conducted will provide a limited
amount of theory with a much greater emphasis on practical, hands-on
training. Subjects will be specific rather than general, to facilitate
concentration in detail on singular topics, in order to produce quality
knowledge and more efficient production skills.
To promote training of citizens at all
staffing levels, a training levy is applied to all businesses whose annual
payroll exceeds K100,000. The levy, assessed on an annual basis, is
calculated on the taxable salary and wages, including benefits, of all
personnel. Expenses incurred in the training of citizen employees are
deducted from the amount payable. Any business spending more than two per
cent of its payroll on training citizens staff does not pay the levy.
Upskilling and Multiskilling
The NTC is directly responsible for
co-ordinating training specifically for the upskilling and multiskilling
One of the main thrusts of the NTC is
on-the-job upgrading of skills. It promotes and implements training
programmes which are geared towards meeting the needs of industry. For
instance, the trade testing and certification scheme is responsible for
the constant upgrading of technical skills, to keep pace with
The NTC is also responsible for securing
formal and informal training overseas through various technical assistance
programmes conducted by agencies such as AusAID and the CFTC. This
training is secured for people already at work and those citizens who are
still going through the education system.
The ongoing training of the local work
force has resulted in a pool of available labour trained in many different
fields of work. Investors should be aware that while certain professional,
technical and managerial positions are open for foreign nationals to
occupy, there is a list of occupations which can only be filled by Papua
New Guineans. The most up to date list of occupations open to foreign
nationals can be obtained from the Department of Industrial Relations.
There are unions and industrial
organisations in Papua New Guinea. In the public sector, almost 100 per
cent of the labour force is unionised through the Public Employees
Association (PEA) and other occupational-based unions like teachers,
police and nurses associations.
In the private sector, unions are
organised on an enterprise level. Unions in the strategic sectors of
mining, transport, waterside, communications, and so on, are
better-organised because of the stability in membership. The workforce in
some other sectors, such as agriculture, which is rural based, remains
Wages in Papua New Guinea are set by a
Government body known as the Minimum Wages Board. The wage setting process
in Papua New Guinea has experienced reform and change in recent years. In
1992, the Board abolished the method of setting wages which involved the
automatic indexation of the minimum wage according to the movement of the
Consumer Price Index. The Board set a legal minimum rate of K22.96 per
week (for unskilled adult workers) and introduced a minimum wage for
youths aged 16 to 21 years. Youths were given special attention in order
to address unemployment.
The Board also determined that wages and
improvements in employment conditions were to be determined through
collective bargaining or free negotiations between the labour force or
representative unions and employers or through representative
Anything above the minimum wage level is
subject to negotiation between employer and employee and/or their
respective industrial organisation based on productivity at an industrial
level and capacity to pay by employers.
The National Minimum Wage applies
irrespective of location of employment.
Both classifications of the National
Minimum Wage and the Youth Minimum Wage applied to all new entrants to the
work force from the date of operation of the determination.
Employees in employment at the time of
the change were not to be affected by the 1992 minimum wages policy.
There are award rates of pay for certain
skills. Up to date information about the rates of pay can be obtained from
the Department of Industrial Relations or by contacting the Investment