Job opportunities looming up north

Pacific prepares for employment opportunities in Guam

As a follow up, Pacific ACP Ministers at their meeting in Nadi, Fiji this week have tasked the Forum Secretariat to put together a political strategy for Pacific Islanders to access the employment market in Guam.

Fri, 24 Oct 2008
SUVA, Fiji —– Pacific Island Countries have expressed interest to access employment market in Guam, in anticipation of the relocation of the United States military base from Okinawa to Guam.

The relocation means job opportunities for about 20,000 Pacific Islanders mostly in the initial construction of the base, health, hospitality and general care giving. In May this year, the government of Guam, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS)and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) to work together on how Pacific Islands Countries (PICs) could benefit through the relocation process.

“We in the region are excited about the opportunities that the U.S military build-up on Guam will bring to our people within the region, said Feleti Teo of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in May this year. “The LoU will also look at training for our people making them more competitive. Our people are skilled in their various jobs but in order for the Pacific to compete with labour from other nations like Philippines and China, our workers must have adequate qualifications and skills. It is imperative that we are able to make our islanders marketable for all skilled and unskilled employment opportunities.”  Mr Teo had said.

As a follow up, Pacific ACP Ministers at their meeting in Nadi, Fiji this week have tasked the Forum Secretariat to put together a political strategy for Pacific Islanders to access the employment market in Guam. Over the next six years, the Pentagon is planning to spend more than USD$15 billion to upgrade and expand air bases, barracks and ports, and to carve out of the jungle new housing and headquarters to accommodate thousands of additional troops and their families who are scheduled to arrive.

It is all part of the military’s effort to remake Guam into a strategic hub in the western Pacific, underscoring both the increasing geopolitical importance of Asia to Washington as well as the Pentagon’s priority to project power from U.S. territory rather than from foreign bases. By 2014, some 8,000 marines are expected to move here from their base in Okinawa, requiring a new headquarters, housing and a small-arms training range. The Japanese government is paying USD$6 billion to help defray costs of the move and the new construction.


10 Responses to “Job opportunities looming up north”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    that’s great news , but has anyone thought it might be better if Pacific Islanders could stay in their own Islands and learn the necessary skills at home !
    Instead of losing billions every time you have a silly coup !

  2. amazon Says:

    U’re absolutely right MM. Perhaps a short-term solution to our current situation to provide an alternative for our people who are torn between following their principles in not supporting an illegal, unpopular, undemocratic, unaccountable and nontransparent military-driven regime against their dire need to put bread and butter on the table for their families… take note you good soldiers.

  3. Colin Bishop Says:

    I can suggest 4000 soldiers could be sent north as a construction labor force. They can stage a coup on Guam if they want but I expect there would be a rather dramatic response fron the yanks if they tried.

  4. benhur Says:

    Why not make a deal with the US to relocate some of their military installations in Fiji? But first they must take out Bainimarama and his FMF junta? An immediate election to follow.

  5. LUVfiji Says:

    MM – So right. But thankfully there is opportunity to tap into alternative markets for jobs denied at home.

    @Benhur. Nice suggestion! Remember the old Laucalabay location?

  6. amazon Says:

    @bh – I’d say it’s easier said than done unless Fiji was situated in Guam… I guess NZ and OZ hve our backsides covered…

  7. Adi Kaila Says:

    Ah Hem

    Guam is US Territory – “Where Americas day begins’ – there isn’t a war there so the Island doesn’t need ‘Peace Keeping Forces’

    I don’t think they’ll want voreqes boys there at all.

  8. benhur Says:

    We’ll the way the American Government are buying additional land sites in their new Tamavua location we know there was something behind it? I’m pretty sure they are planning to seek relocating some of their military installations throughout the south-pacific including Fiji? Do we really want them here? I like their peace corp but not so sure with the Military installation and its environment repercussion to our water and marine life?

  9. amazon Says:

    @ Colin Bishop – I really like yr suggestion, by all means pls, Fiji will absolutely rejoice if all 4,000 muscle-men relocate north to help construct whatever it is they hve to construct there. We’ll just keep ‘you-know-who’ behind to keep George Speight company at Naboro … but the rest are good to go minus their RottenFMF badges!

  10. Fiji Forward Says:

    Colin bishop, which planet you fell off from man??? RFMF is here to stay though I dont support them but they ensure we the i-taukei retain our land!!! Thats good enough for me..

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