Partnership needed to grow human capital

A concerted effort is required to unearth the potential that is in people to help grow the economy of Papua New Guinea, said the President of Divine Word University Professor Cecilia Nembou.

Addressing the recent Madang Investment Summit Prof Nembou said to unlock the “enormous pool of latent talent out there governments, business leaders, educational institutions and individuals must each understand better the global talent value chain.”

“Business, in particular, must re-think its role as a consumer of ‘ready-made’ human capital to proactively seek out, engage and develop people’s potential,” said Prof Nembou.

She said “according to the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report 2015, human talent and not human capital will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century.

“More than a third of employers globally reported facing difficulties in finding talent last year and nearly half expected talent shortages to have a negative impact on their business results.”

Prof Nembou said for PNG, proactive measures were needed to ensure the hidden talent pool with the national population is identified and nurtured to grow the economy.

She said DWU already partners with business, government, church and other entities to assist in this process in a number of ways.

Prof Nembou said: “Students research projects are an increasing area of industry collaborations, e.g. students of environmental health sciences conduct field research in mining sites to analyse the impact of mineral processing on water quality and wild life, which have direct impact on the life of rural people;

“Students in information systems design databases and information systems for clients to assist them with improved information management and enhancing decision making;

“Staff research and consultancies have benefits in both directions; and

“Experts from business and industry can contribute to teaching and research as sessional lecturers, research collaborators or co-supervisors of students’ projects.”