A flight has been approved to come in from Guangzhou, China, this Friday (5th of March) bringing in workers to build the fourth University of the South Pacific (USP) Campus in Honiara.

Speaking at the recent radio talkback show, Secretary to Prime Minister, Dr Jimmie Rodgers says the flight will also transport workers from China Harbour who are on their way to Nauru.

“About 79 of them. And those workers will not come off here. They will not disembark here. They will stay on the plane and the plane will drop them off at Nauru. They will quarantine there”, Rogers says.

He says the fourth USP campus is a very important government project.

Solomon Times Online understands that the ground-breaking ceremony for the fourth USP Campus took place in 2017 behind the King George field grounds.

A $15.4 million ADB concessional loan, together with an ADB-administered grant of $1.5 million from the Clean Energy Fund, will finance the new campus.

Meanwhile clarifying to Solomon Times Online, Director of the Government Communication Unit says the workers coming in from Guangzhou are highly skilled technical people that are needed for the construction of facilities for the games and other infrastructure projects that the country needs right now.

“These are not ordinary workers. Locally we do not have such highly skilled people in the areas that they will be engaged in, in view of the magnitude of the infrastructure projects that we expect”, Mr. George Herming told Solomon Times Online.

The Director of the Government Communication Unit (GCU) says there will be jobs in other areas that will absorb local skilled and unskilled workforce.

“The process of getting these skilled workers from China is just the beginning of the process of building facilities for the games so that is why the government is arranging for their travel into the country”, Mr. Herming says.

He says the government has repeatedly said that the construction of facilities for the games and other major infrastructure projects will create jobs for locals during the process.

“This will provide hundreds of job opportunities for locals to engage in. The government will look outside of the country for highly skilled workers only when we do not have local expertise”, Mr. Herming says.

The USP Honiara Campus will provide additional classrooms, an ICT studio, science laboratories, as well as faculty and administrative facilities with a solar-powered system that will provide 75 percent of the campus’ energy needs. ADB has said that this will enhance ICT-based education, improve student services, and help strengthen USP governance and management.

An anchor student program in public health is being planned, as well as a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The new campus will also offer technical and vocational education and training.