FNU partners with Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen and FNU's Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May, after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding at the FNU Campus in Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Fiji National University (FNU) signed a Workplace Experience Programme Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the national airline carrier, Fiji Airways.

The partnership paves the way for FNU students to undertake on-the-job training with Fiji’s national carrier as per the university’s curriculum requirements.

FNU’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr William May, said the agreement is aligned towards the University’s Pillar One Education for Employability as outlined in the FNU Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

FNU is committed to producing work-ready graduates at undergraduate and post-graduate levels with the skills, knowledge, competencies, aptitudes and behaviours necessary to succeed in a competitive jobs market, including by establishing new businesses. An entrepreneurial mindset and a readiness to meet the challenges and opportunities of Industries.

“The two organisations have welcomed a new dawn in the history of the organisations where the national carrier, Fiji Airways, and Fiji National University have strengthened the relationship for the common goal of helping in the economic growth and the prosperity of Fijians with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding,” Dr May said.

“This partnership is a testament to the commitment of the two organisations in ensuring employment opportunities for the students. The tourism industry is a major player in Fiji’s economy and Fiji Airways, is playing a pivotal role in the transportation of tourists to and from our shores. On the other hand, FNU is committed to producing highly qualified graduates in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen said the company was pleased to have a partnership with the Fiji National University.

“Our pre-pandemic partnership saw many graduates join various business units at Fiji Airways, most working their way into full-time positions. Fiji Airways is a firm believer in providing our young Fijians with a platform to gain industry-based, hands-on experience in order to prepare them for the workforce,” Viljoen said.

“At Fiji Airways, we develop the skills and talent of our employees to make them the best at what they do, while at the same time imparting our ethos in terms of dedication, commitment, and productivity. We see FNU as an integral partner in moulding young minds to become productive members of the workforce.”

The national airline also held a recruitment drive at FNU’s Namaka Campus in Nadi, which provided selected students with an opportunity to undergo preliminary interviews.

College of Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Studies Dean Professor Arun Elias said the signing of the MoU will help both organisations achieve their strategic goals.

“CBHTS considers Fiji Airways as a strategic partner not just in learning and teaching but also in our research agenda,” Prof Elias said.

“Therefore, the signing of MOU is strategically important to the CBHTS. It is also a step towards realising the five strategic priorities of the college.”

Dr Avanish Shukla, the Associate Dean at FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality, and Tourism Studies said the partnership would unlock opportunities for current and future students and train them to become model employees.

“This is just the start of the better things to come. We all are aware of the high standards at Fiji Airways, and our students would be able to learn from the best in the business and together, we will be able to contribute to the Fijian economic development and growth,” Dr Shukla said.

The FNU will engage proactively with national and regional employers in the co-design and continuous improvement of all study programmes, embedding digital and core skills, high-level English-language competency, workplace values, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

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