Minister Says Samoa Must Prepare for the ‘Future of Work’


The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell, has called for a forward-looking approach to the development of Samoa’s labour force, to ensure it is able to respond to changes taking place in the world of work.

During his Ministerial address in Parliament, Lautafi said the Ministry (MCIL) continues to work closely with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to consider all possible impacts of global conditions such as climate change, on the nature of jobs.

Samoa’s Labour Minister said changes are inevitable and the labour market landscape will completely shift in another 50 years time; calling on Samoa to stay current.

“E le taumate o le isi 50 tausaga, o le a sui atoa le landscape o le tatou galuega”.

He called on private sector employers, and tertiary institutions such as NUS and APTC to prepare practical programs that will suit the changes coming.

Lautafi said Samoa must take advantage of technological advances, and ensure jobs in areas such as Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) remain current and relevant.

“We need to change the focus.. the whole aim is to raise the employability of the labour force”, he said.

Samoa continues to participate in the Future of Work initiative with ILO, one of its goals is to increase the technical and policy capacity to respond to transformations taking place in the world of work.

The Minister also spoke about the benefits of foreign investment to Samoa in order to grow the economy and create jobs.

He gave the example of Dubai, where there has been a shift from dependence on oil to foreign investment.

“Oil production which once accounted for 50% of Dubai’s GDP now contributes less than 1% of their GDP today,” said Lautafi.

The Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry said foreign investment has completely shifted the trading landscape of Dubai’s economy, and 60% of Dubai’s population are foreigners, investing in the country.

“Foreign investment is not a bad thing.. as it brings employment and helps to develop the country,” said Lautafi.

Hon Lautafi Fio Selafi Purcell’s portfolio includes the Trade, Commerce and Manufacturing (TCM) sector. He has been the Minister of Public Enterprises (MPE) since 2014.

Sina Retzlaff