A recent finding in a World Bank report titled Skills for Solomon Islands, 'Opening New Opportunities,' finds that there is a mismatch between the demand for skills in current job opportunities and the supplied labour force.

The reports says with new and emerging economic opportunities in natural resources, tourism, small enterprise, and labour migration there needs to be a corresponding increase by those with the right skill sets.  

Ensuring that the right skill sets carry forward is critically important, with seven out of ten Solomon Islanders under the age of 29 and the working-age population set to increase by 30 per cent in the next decade.

Local firms report they could add over 50 percent more jobs, given the availability of employees with the right skills, yet by one measure only about 20 percent of 15-24 year old Solomon Islanders are employed, and over 40 percent of youth are inactive.

The report reveals that constraints to growth begin with basic skills.

Literacy and Educational Experience surveyed in Solomon Islands in 2007 and 2010 indicated that rates of functional literacy are as low as 17% in major provinces, creating a need for second chance education for those who have missed out on basic education in early years.

Author of the report, World Bank Human Development Specialist Stephen Close, is visiting Honiara to meet with government agencies, civil society, employers and development partners.

Mr Close will be discussing the report's key analysis and messages, and to examine which recommendations are most useful for current policy and action in Solomon Islands.