New program launched

THE industrial mineral sector in Fiji has been neglected and overlooked, says Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Minister Jone Usamate.

Mr Usamate said this during the launch of the Fiji National University (FNU) Certificate IV in geology, mining and quarrying studies program at Holiday Inn in Suva yesterday.

“I have been concerned with the need for us to have relevant qualifications for our people. We just have too many people doing programs in commerce or in law who are unable to get employment that uses their qualifications. And as a result, this contributes to underemployment of our graduates. We need to have demand driven qualifications. So I am glad to see that we are launching this special qualification,” he said

“Without these minerals, there simply would not be development (construction of roads, airports, wharves and buildings).

“The mining of these construction materials takes place not only in quarries, but also from rivers and coastal beaches and near-shore reef environments,” Mr Usamate said.

He said the program would benefit resource owners, as they would be empowered to sustainably manage their resources and get better equity for it.

FNU acting dean for the College of Engineering Science and Technology Salabogi Mavoa said for the detailed content, the university had engaged the content experts from within FNU and fortunately, they had some staff who had worked in the mining industries.

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