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Pacific EDA welcomes funding for Pacific projects

Pacific EDA welcomes funding for Pacific projects

New funding announced by the government will help to focus attention on priorities for Pacific people, says the head of the Pacific Economic Development Agency, JR Pereira.

“We are sincerely grateful to the government for their support, particularly in the current economic climate.

“Pacific people deserve to enjoy the same standard of living as other New Zealanders, and one of the ways to get there is to improve their skills to get better jobs and incomes.

“We also acknowledge the very strong support from Pacific advisory groups and the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs. They pursued a common vision despite the recession, and before there was any funding in place.”

The $4.8 million programme will be delivered over four years in partnership with government, the private sector, training institutions and the community.

The main project is an upskilling scheme aimed at a niche group aged 20-24 who lack the qualifications to enter tertiary-level trades training.

Other activities include a leadership scheme involving young people who help to design and deliver projects in their own community, and a branding exercise.

The initiatives follow consultations which led to the drafting of the Auckland Pacific Economic and Social Transformation Agenda (APESTA) at a conference in October 2008. The final APESTA document was launched in December 2009 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Hon. Bill English.

The APESTA is a key guideline for action by Pacific EDA and other partners.

ENDS

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