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Many college graduates, tourism industry jobless

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, September 30, 2009) -- More than 250 men applied for jobs as stevedores with the Fiji Ports Corporation.

General Manager Port Operations Eminoni Kurusiga said a large number of the 96 shortlisted for interviews were either former tourism workers or University of the South Pacific graduates.

He said the 96 shortlisted were too many for the 14 posts currently vacant in the corporation.

Yesterday, a team headed by Mr. Kurusiga interviewed the remaining 40 applicants.

"Some of the people who came for interview were USP students," he said. "There was one guy who had a BSc in environmental science. Then there are those who lost their jobs from the tourism industry. While some of them were looking for permanent posts others were looking for casual work."

Kurusiga said stevedores were casual posts and those chosen would be called when needed.

"We need people who are very raw and don't know anything about stevedoring," he said. "They are the best people to train."

Misiraini Raisauqe, 20, of Lutu in Naitasiri was hopeful of being one of the successful 14 Fiji Ports would employ.

A welder at a printing press, he said he saw an advertisement in the newspaper and decided to apply.

"I have an uncle who used to be a dockworker," he said.

"I would really like to work at the wharf."

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