NEWS

Drugs Hinder Youths Chance Of Working In Australia

“This is not for seven or eight months employment, this is for three years and wherever I go, I say this to our youths, please get away from substances, it’s not only going to affect your health, but your employment opportunities as well.”
26 Apr 2022 15:00
Drugs Hinder Youths Chance Of Working In Australia
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Parveen Bala (front row, fifth from left), with the Pacific Center for Peace Building executive director, Florence Swamy (front row, sixth from left, Deputy Divisional Police Commander West, Superintendent Aisake Kafoa (front row, fourth from left) with stakeholders and youths following the opening of the Lautoka Youth Empowerment training at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel on April 25, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Most youths miss out on the opportunity to work in Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme because of their involvement with drugs.

This was the statement made by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Parveen Bala when opening the Lautoka Youth Empowerment training at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel yesterday.

West-based staff from the ministry are leading the week-long training with support from the United Nations Population Fund, Pacific Center for Peace Building, the Fiji Police Force and the Public Rental Board (PRB).

A total of 80 youths from Natabua, Golf Link, Vakatora, Simla and Natokowaqa PRB flats were part of the training.

In his address, Mr Bala advised youths to stay away from illegal substances.

“We are also sending our Fijians to Australia for employment under the Pacific Labour Scheme,” he said.

“Most of our youths, for example, if there are 10 boxes to be ticked, nine boxes are ticked and one is not – drugs. And they lose that opportunity, that employment opportunity.

“This is not for seven or eight months employment, this is for three years and wherever I go, I say this to our youths, please get away from substances, it’s not only going to affect your health, but your employment opportunities as well.”

He urged the youths to make use of the training opportunity.

“This is a very important empowerment training focused on law and order,” he said.

“Don’t just think that you have an opportunity to come here at Tanoa Waterfront, have good meals and then go back, make use of this opportunity.”

Mr Bala said the focus of the training would be on providing young people with the right knowledge and skills and empowering youths to become productive, self-reliant and law-abiding citizens.

There were more than 800 registered youth clubs which have around 15,000 registered youth members.

Pacific Center for Peace Building executive director, Florence Swamy said the discussions this week would focus on conflict analysis, leadership, stress and trauma management, anger management and conflict resolution using a restorative justice and peace building lense.

Golf Link PRB representative, Adi Unaisi Talei said she looked forward to working with the youths and talking about everyday issues they faced like peer pressure.

“I look forward to learning many things in this training and finding solutions that we may use to solve issues that we face,” Ms Talei said.

nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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