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Fiji Time: 9:50 PM on Monday 21 April

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Youths graduate

Shayal Devi
Friday, December 20, 2013

TAVUA lass Vila Katikati comes from a poor background but she is on her way to becoming the sole breadwinner of her family, looking after the needs of her parents and siblings.

The 20-year-old has improved her chances of finding a job after she and 25 others from Ba and Tavua graduated from the Youth Employment Network program at the USP's Lautoka campus.

"I am very happy to be a part of this program and I encourage all youths to take this up and look for ways in which they can work and earn money," she said.

"I want to go into the teaching field but that's not my only option as I want to undertake some handy computer and office skills courses."

The European Union funded program is being run jointly by USP and NGO FRIEND.

EU representative Andrew Winter-Taylor said the program may seem small but they were happy to fund the education of young people.

"By nurturing the program, we are doing good things for the youngsters and providing them with lots of opportunities," he said.

"Some young people already have jobs and some will take longer to get employed but it's all about getting them to be experienced workers. That gives them the experience of discipline like getting up in the morning and managing their time."

FRIEND associate director Dr Jone Hawea said the program would continue to evolve.

"We are trying to cater for the struggles of our young school leavers in their bid to get employed and dealing with problems as they try to grow in their new work surroundings," he said.

The EU has been funding the program since 2011.