ONE hundred and four apprentice graduates from the Fiji National University who showcased significant skill development were congratulated by Education Minister Filipe Bole during their graduation ceremony at the FNU Nasinu Campus.
The graduates were from the National Training and Productivity Centre.
Mr Bole said the graduates could be justifiably proud of themselves because they had successfully completed their training over a span of four years.
He said the certificates and awards were in recognition of their commitment to training which had been made possible by the joint effort of trainers and mentors at the university.
"Skills training is extremely important for the economic development of any country and Fiji is no exception," Mr Bole said.
"The national apprenticeship scheme which fell under the ambit of the NTPC is at present limited to trade-based occupation.
"The government is going to work closely with the NTPC in exploring the possibility of extending the national apprenticeship scheme to other non-traditional sectors."
FNU vice chancellor Dr Ganesh Chand said the university was committed to providing the country with a skilled labour force.
"FNU is the only university in Fiji which provides a dual education system," he said.
Electric fitter-mechanic student Elijah Kinmun Fong took out the overall apprentice of the year award and also the best apprentice in individual trade.
He said he faced many challenges during his apprentice program.
"The four years of the program have enabled me to improve my skills and moulded me into a skilled apprentice," Mr Fong said.