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“If you get a skill, the industry will provide you a job opportunity.”

This is what the 15 graduates of the Yavitu Youth Training Centre heard during a consultation held recently in Valelevu, Nasinu.

Encouraging the youths and commending them for their effort Construction Industry Council Chief Executive Officer, Mr Vijay Naidu, says the industry is constantly looking for skilled workers.

“Sure we have people working in the industry but the ‘specific skills’ people is something we lack at the moment,” he said while addressing parents and trainees during a consultation preceding to the graduation ceremony.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports’ Yavitu Youth Training Centre in Kadavu is the first of its kind in Fiji to align and accredit its course to the Fiji Higher Education Commission requirements for accreditation and offered its trainees certificates recognised under the Fiji Qualification Framework.

Officiating at the graduating ceremony Minister for Youth and Sports, Honourable Laisenia Tuitubou, said that the event is an outstanding achievement of the Ministry.

“Not only is this event outstanding but it also celebrates the accomplishment of the 15 young men who will be graduating today with Class 3 Certification in Carpentry,” Hon. Tuitubou said.

“It additionally commends the accomplishment of the Ministry in the provision of formal qualifications for trainees in a non-formal setting and the first set of graduates under the Fiji Higher Education Commission accredited programme.”

Producing hundreds of trained youths in the areas of Carpentry and Agriculture through subsidized training programmes offered since its beginning in 1995, the Ministry in 2016 commenced its upgrading work at Yavitu Training Centre by appointing its first Accredited Trainer who worked with other Ministry officials towards achieving the compliance standards stipulated under the Fiji High Education Commission’s regulatory legislation.

The programmes sees the youth being trained based on a competency based programme which runs for a period of 6 to 9 months.

Fully funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the training programme fully utilizes a competency based curriculum.

The programme also allows trainees to undergo trade tests at the Fiji National University.

“These are the steps the Ministry has already taken to ensure our youths get the best that is on offer. This is especially for youths who are marginalised in our society. In providing platforms to upgrade the lives of our youths, the Ministry has designed various informal training courses to empower them,” Hon. Tuitubou said while addressing the graduates and parents at the graduation ceremony.

“Yavitu, I am proud to say, is now able to produce high quality graduates who can be absorbed directly into the construction sector with the quality of training they have received,” adds the Minister.