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An initiative to harness the benefits of data and technology to match jobs with skills and support policy makers to plan for workforce development was launched at the 50th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Tuvalu on Wednesday.
The Pacific Skills Portal Initiative is a collaboration between the Pacific Community’s Pacific Data Hub, the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, the International Organization for Migration, the Pacific Immigration Development Community, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UNICEF and The University of the South Pacific.
The Pacific Skills Portal is the second deliverable under the Pacific Skills Partnership launched at the 49th Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru. Its purpose is to improve access to and sharing information about skills requirements of Pacific economies to inform policy and planning.
Forum Chair and Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga, emphasised that a crucial part of securing a prosperous and secure future lies in evidence-based decision-making to secure investment in skills development.
“Tuvalu welcomes the intent of this Pacific Skills Portal Initaitive to consolidate and make accessible labour market data and skills relevant information,” said Prime Minister Sopoaga.
If we are to lead and drive our own technological advancement, innovation and change that informs and responds to A 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific, then we must elevate the prioritisation of human development and investment in essential skills for Pacific peoples.”
Dr Audrey Aumua, Deputy Director General of the Pacific Community, added that, “Partnerships such as this are the right way to proceed, and that synergies and data governance are essential to growing a Pacific data ecosystem that can serve the region’s needs and answer questions posed by island countries to inform their development priorities.”
Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, highlighted the central role of skills development for the Pacific, saying, “I’ve always been a firm believer in the capacity and ability of our Pacific people and am an ardent supporter of investing in strengthening the capacity of our people to deliver for our people and secure our future here in the Pacific. Indeed, this is the very theme of the 50th Pacific Islands Forum.”
Also speaking at the event in support for the Initiative were Baron Divavesi Waqa, President of Nauru, and Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, who reiterated the key messages conveyed by the inaugural Pacific Skills Summit in Fiji in June, including a call for the development of a Pacific Skills Portal to address data gaps and share labour market information.
The Pacific Skills Portal Initiative will ensure alignment with existing regional policies, and data repositories. The Initiative will collaborate with Pacific Island governments and relevant development partners towards establishing a functional, accessible Pacific Skills Portal that is part of the Pacific’s Open Data Ecosystem, and that serves regional stakeholders’ information needs on skills, labour market needs and workforce development priorities.
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