The welfare of youths in the country is one of the top priorities for the Fijian Government and one of its main focus is to see young Fijians treated fairly. Speaking to more than a hundred villagers at Beqa Island today yesterday, Minister Bala said that no Fijian will be left behind by the government. “We are here to make sure that you all benefit from Government initiatives and not only the Fijians in urban areas,” Honorable Bala said.
Officiating at the graduation ceremony for trainees in the Boat master and Class 6 licensing training at Dakuibeqa Village in Beqa, Hon Bala said that dialogue is very important and Government has to hear the voices of youth to determine the way forward concerning their development.
“This government has put in place opportunities for young Fijians to be empowered and be self-sustainable through the Ministry’s Mobile and Specific Skills, empowerment and capacity building training programmes. Latest statistics shows that 70% of our population are under the age of 40 which makes our country a very young one and I call on young Fijians to make use of Government initiatives and benefit from it to ensure a sustainable future,” he said.
He further said that programmes in the Youth and Sports Ministry fill a vital gap and addresses youths who have not made it in the formal education sector.
“We have these training programmes in the Ministry to help youths around the country and empower them so they can generate income for themselves and their families”, the Minister said.
“One such initiative is my Ministry’s collaboration with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and that is why we are here today. These training programmes are targeted for those Fijians who cannot qualify for mainstream learning opportunities,” Hon. Bala explains.
The Minister further told villagers that the Boat master and Class 6 licensing training was to empower them and gives them an opportunity to use their license for “self-income generation”.
“It is our hope that by generating income, it will inspire you to do more, and elevate your family and community to a sustainable way of life,” he adds.
Honorable Bala further explained that one of Government priority through the Ministry of Youth and Sports is to reduce unemployment, create opportunities for youths and Fijians to be entrepreneurially successful, contribute to the reduction of poverty and to promote economic growth.
Supporting the Minister’s address, MSAF Awareness Officer Durusolo Tavura said that the training was a great opportunity for the participants and will open doors in their young lives.
“Your generation is fortunate that Government has provided this training for you. This shows the support of Government towards young Fijians especially those in the rural areas and I urge you all to set goals for yourselves and explore opportunities as that is the only way you can attain true success,” Mr Tavura told the youths.
The training which was conducted over the course of three weeks was fully funded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was attended by more than 70 youths from the 9 villages on Beqa Island.