• Distinguished Guests
• Trainers
• Graduating Trainees
• Parents and Guardians
• Ladies and Gentlemen

Bula vinaka, Namaste, Salaam Aleikum and Good morning to you all.

It is once again that time of the year when we gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating trainees and our Naqere Training Centre.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Fiji is a young country with around 62% of the population below the age of 35. Thus effective engagement of youth in the economy, society and the political sphere will stimulate growth and development.

My Ministry will ensure that we provide non-formal education opportunities to our young people so that they can make the most of employment and leadership opportunities.

Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports introducing training programs to meet the needs of the nation and our economy effectively.

We are very pleased that our non-formal education programs are proving beneficial for all our trainees. In this case, the introduction of carpentry training has been the mainstay at Naqere Training Centre over the years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Certificate III in General Carpentry encourages youths and trainees alike to pursue self or paid employment around the country.

After the devastation caused to major infrastructure by Tropical Cyclone Winston, the Trainers and staff responsible for Cakaudrove, with the Ministry’s support, have increased the trainee intake from the normal 20 to 30.

Today’s graduation ceremony will see 29 youths graduating after 4 months of intensive training and practical outings to communities.

Some practical sites trainees were involved in construction include:
• Naqere Public Rental Board Housing project
• Vatudamu Youth Club roadside stall
• Construction of Help for Home recipients’ houses in Nasolo, Nadua, Nabama and Nakawakawa to name a few.

In total, they managed to construct more than 10 homes according to the building materials available to them and that Ladies and Gentlemen is a pleasing achievement in itself. Congratulations and thank you for your community support.

Trainees, as you leave this Centre, I hope that you will take with you the life skills you have learned, the camaraderie, the positive discipline and good habits you have picked up during your time here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are looking to expand our non-formal training offer at Naqere Training Centre over the next few years.

We want to convert the centre to cater specifically for young women’s programs such as:
• Catering and Pastries training
• Sewing and pattern designing
• Screen painting
• Beauty therapy
• Tourism and hospitality related training
• Traditional arts training (mat and basket weaving) and
• Culture industry programs to name a few

For too long, our training seems to have focused on our young men. In line with our Constitution and the principle of gender equality, we hope now focus on our young women.

I hope our exciting plans will come to fruition but we will have to wait and see what the budget is able to cover.

I would like to thank the parents and guardians for your support and prayers.

Thank you to Timoci for coordinating the training with a big Vinaka to our support staff in providing catering for all trainees.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas, and a happy New Year and, for our trainees, a promising future ahead.

Vinaka, Dhanyabad, Shokran and thank you all.