Address at the Graduation Ceremony for the Yavitu Training Centre Graduates,
19 October 2018 at 2:00 P.M

Representatives of the Ministry’s stakeholders
Government officials
Ladies and Gentlemen

Ni sa Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Salaam Aleikum and Good afternoon

I warmly greet you on this auspicious occasion that marks another achievement of this 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. Of course, I look forward to the day when we have more young women taking this training!

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 accredited programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yavitu Training Centre has produced hundreds of youths trained in the areas of Carpentry and Agriculture through subsidized training programmes offered since its beginning in 1995 with the then Department of Youth and Sports under the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

Presently, under this Ministry's network of five training centers across the nation, the Yavitu Youth Training Center is one of a kind in that it is geographically situated in one of our southernmost islands of our country and offers a learning domain that enables students to stay focused throughout their training.

The Ministry, in 2016, commenced upgrading work at the Yavitu by appointing its first Accredited Trainer who worked with other Ministry officials to meeting the compliance standards stipulated by the Fiji High Education Commission.

I take this moment to commend the work of Mr. Akuila Raibe and his staff for the huge strides the Yavitu Training Centre has undertaken through their commitment and dedication towards the development of youths.

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.

I understand that there was a consultation between stakeholders and parents this morning here in Valelevu to promote linkages and create awareness amongst parents on the potential of not only the graduates but for those who may go through this training in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen these are the steps the Ministry has already taken to ensure our youths gets 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 in-formal training to empower them. These are carried out in the four divisions and are based on the training needs analysis carried out by Ministry staff.

In doing so, we are fulfilling one of our core functions - to empower youths to explore and use their abilities and potential to create an enabling environment for sustainable livelihoods for our young Fijians.

For the graduates, today is the beginning of your journey into the workforce of the country. The culmination of what you have been trained for at Yavitu and the three months work attachment to follow. When you graduate today, one door closes and another opens - helping your knowledge grow and complement your training.

I urge you to always maintain discipline in the workforce and show your peers that your time with us at the Yavitu Youth Training Centre has made you a better person.

Strive to build on what you have learnt at Yavitu.

Your time at Yavitu is one of the many enjoyable phases in your lives where you get to make many good friends, celebrate each other’s success, comfort each other in sorrow or provide kindness and support when in need. Develop this network you have created and maintain it through life.

Your network will help you in sharing of ideas, fostering relationships and creating a bond that will help you develop through your working life.

Many young people who go through such training have been successful in life because of their discipline and the network they have developed.

Your graduation today does not mean that your training ends here. There is still more to learn and I encourage you to keep learning and explore ways you can further enhance you skills and abilities.

Ladies and Gentlemen I also take this moment to acknowledge the 25 participants of the week long Lau Youth Leadership Training who are also graduating today.

Leadership is a gift and it means that you must define and exhibit moral and ethical courage, setting an example for everyone within your communities.

To be a leader you have to be innovative and go where there is no path, to be a trailblazer.

Leaders instil in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals – a servant-leader in action.

Your training this week has empowered you to have vision and motivate others to enhance their capabilities and accomplish their goals and dreams.

You must not find fault. However find means to improve.

When you improve yourself in areas that are important to the people you lead, not only do you get better, but you also help your people improve.

This training is designed to assist you, the young men and women representing the 17 islands in the Lau Group, in developing your communities through sustainable practices and good governance. The training also benefits you to excel in different areas of your lives as future leaders.

Utilise what you have learnt during the training to broaden the scope of your roles. Share your new found knowledge and encourage others to excel in the modern era.

As our leaders of tomorrow, Government looks towards you the youths of today for the continuous improvement and well-being of our nation and I encourage you to rise to the challenges we face today and tomorrow.

Make it a prerogative to lead wisely and you will gain the respect of your peers.

Ladies and Gentlemen I wish to conclude by challenging all the graduates here today to strengthen and enhance the lives and the prospects of our youths as leaders and innovators in our communities.

I warmly congratulate you all on your achievement and wish you success in all your endeavours.

Vinaka Vakalevu.