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Value Of Apprenticeship Scheme In Fiji: Healey

“Such companies need to remem­ber that, unlike a fresh graduate, a qualified apprentice has proved that they have the skills and apti­tude to do the job.
19 Mar 2019 18:15
Value Of Apprenticeship Scheme In Fiji: Healey
Fiji National University vice-chancellor Professor Nigel Healey makes his presentation during the Talanoa Session.

Some companies in Fiji are skeptical about the value of apprenticeships.

Despite this, apprentices guaran­tee a more enriching way of gain­ing work experience and a trade qualification.

These were the sentiments ex­pressed by Fiji National Univer­sity’s Vice Chancellor Professor Nigel Healey while launching the National Training and Productiv­ity Centre Apprenticeship Week yesterday.

Mr Healey said many companies find it cheaper to hire a new gradu­ate from a full time programme and train them up.

“Some companies worry that if they invest in training an appren­tice, he or she will leave as soon as they are qualified, being poached by a rival company that “freerides” on their investment,” he said.

Skills and Aptitude

“Such companies need to remem­ber that, unlike a fresh graduate, a qualified apprentice has proved that they have the skills and apti­tude to do the job.

“It is because of these challenges that we need to work hard to raise awareness on the benefits of ap­prentices to both young people and employers.”

Speaking on the week-long pro­gramme, Mr Healy added the event would raise public awareness of the National Apprenticeship Scheme Apprenticeship.

“The week is designed to cel­ebrate the impact of apprentice­ships on individuals, employers and the economy,” he added.

“Our National Training and Pro­ductivity Centre are at the heart of the system, promoting the scheme, matching organizations and poten­tial apprentices, arranging the aca­demic study.

“Fiji, as in many other countries, there are structural changes tak­ing place that are obscuring the value of an apprenticeship.”

Former apprentice share

Guest Speaker, former apprentice Vani Varea said starting as one of the few women who started as an apprentice in the 1980s was not easy.

Ms Varea said her experience of being a tradeswoman for over 10 years has developed her passion in the career.

“Just imagine being a woman and pursuing the apprenticeship role, I did not know what it was at first,” she said.

“I told myself if boys could do it so could I.

“Who would have thought that a woman would join steels and when joining the apprenticeship programme I became passionate about it.”

Today she is retired after her long service with the Ministry of Em­ployment, Productivity and Indus­trial Relations.

Feedback: karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj



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