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Supporting our future Pacific apprentices

Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs

25 September 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until 6.00pm

Supporting our future Pacific apprentices

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban today launched The Pacific Apprentice, an awareness campaign promoting the opportunities available in Modern Apprenticeships to Pacific communities.

"This initiative supports the Modern Apprenticeship programme introduced by the government in 2000 to provide a work-based industry training pathway after a decade of declining participation by young people.

"The Pacific Apprentice is designed to inspire and inform Pacific youth and their families about the pathways to the trades industry. The campaign links our Pacific communities with industry training providers and Pacific trades people who are either successful business owners or have completed their apprenticeship, to help them make more informed career decisions.

"Last year the government exceeded its target of 14,000 Modern Apprentices by the end of 2008 with more than a year to spare. Pacific peoples make up over three per cent of those involved, and we would like to see this increase even further."

A highly skilled and versatile Pacific workforce is a goal of the Pacific Economic Action Plan and the Pacific Women's Economic Development Plan, which have a specific objective to increase Pacific participation in trades training to at least six per cent, with a focus on increasing the participation of Pacific women.

The Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs is leading The Pacific Apprentice initiative and is working collaboratively with the Tertiary Education Commission, Industry Training Organisations and tertiary education providers.

A resource kit has been developed as part of the campaign that provides details of industry training opportunities and providers, and profiles of successful young Pacific people who are currently enrolled in, or who have completed a trades training programme.

The kit will be promoted at careers expos, secondary schools, tertiary institutes, public libraries and other events. It is a precursor to a series of regional meetings with Pacific communities to highlight the opportunities existing in Modern Apprenticeship training.

"We want to ensure that our Pacific peoples know about the opportunities in the trades and are supported to realise their potential," Laban said.


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