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Unemployment 'challenge of our time'

Aqela Susu
Thursday, December 07, 2017

UNEMPLOYMENT is a major challenge of our time, says Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

He made the comment while addressing graduates of the Fiji National University's College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (CAFF) and the National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC) at the Novotel Suva Lami Bay Entertainment Centre yesterday.

"I want to see a growth in young graduates taking up trade areas and even exploring youth entrepreneurship," Mr Usamate said.

"Here in Fiji, unemployment is now down to 5.5 per cent, which is the lowest it has been in 15 years.

"A significant portion of our workforce is engaged in informal work or in subsistence economy."

Mr Usamate urged tertiary providers to be innovative and find ways to ensure they were producing the right kind of graduates that the industry needed and to work with the Higher Education Commission to ensure they delivered the right kind of skilled workers in the country.

"Be prepared to look ahead and to forecast future competency profiles and develop programs and systems that meet those needs," he said.

One-hundred-and-thirty-two students graduated from the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 11 different programs.

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