34 more students to benefit from apprentice scheme

The EFL and NPTC with some members of the national apprenticeship scheme after signing yesterday.Picture ATU RASEA

MORE than 8000 people have gone through the Fiji National University’s national apprentice scheme since its inception and 34 new apprentices joined the program yesterday.

The 34 new apprentices signed on with Energy Fiji Ltd and out the total, 12 will be based in Suva at the EFL power stations and in Lautoka and Labasa for the next three years.

National Training and Productivity Centre director Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata said some very notable people had gone through the program over the years and were now in very influential posts.

Dr Tagicakiverata said the program was effective in terms of preparing young people with the skills and training needed when they joined the workforce.

EFL’s general manager human resources Naveen Lakshmaiya said the apprentice scheme provided the young people with employment, income and since the program was all about learning it would develop them to see where they wanted to head after the completion of the program.

Mr Lakshmaiya said EFL had been part of the scheme for a long time and they had a very thorough training program in place. “We have a lot of turnover which means our existing team migrates so there is a gap.

“These are the people we are now investing in very proactively and all these 34 apprentices will be absorbed in the workforce,” he said. Mr Lakshmaiya encouraged other industry stakeholders to partner with the scheme.

“The apprenticeship is a very good program and we have seen how apprentices can grow if the opportunity is given.

“I think every organisation should join the program.

“If you take in a fresh lot there are a lot of benefits/incentives that government has put in place in terms of tax concessions but at the same time you will be able to breed the right attitude of young people needed in the workforce,” Mr Lakshmaiya said.

The NTPC manages the Apprenticeship Department which administers 22 Trade Certificate programs and 7 Technician levels.

The apprenticeship program offers a systematic on-job practical learning and off-job study. |

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