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Progress To Establish A Pacific Careers Network

Plans Progress To Establish A Pacific Careers Network

Symposium sets Pacific career development as priority

A new initiative to improve career development opportunities for people across Pacific nations was officially launched in Wellington today.

The first meeting convening the Pacific Careers Network was opened this afternoon by the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Hon. Georgina Te Heu Heu, as part of the Fifth International Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy.

The biannual Symposium, which is being hosted in New Zealand for the first time by Career Services, brings together representatives from 24 countries to explore social, economic and technological trends in the global labour market and how nations can cooperate to build better networks for improving career development opportunities for their citizens.

In her opening speech for the Pacific Careers Network meeting, Ms Te Heu Heu said there are shared social and economic benefits that Pacific countries and New Zealand can gain from improving career development services across the Pacific region.

“New Zealand has always taken pride in being a good regional neighbour. Pacific people make up 7.2 percent of the New Zealand population, and that is expected to increase to 9.8 by 2026. Career development here in New Zealand that is targeted to the Pacific people is therefore crucial to the future success of New Zealand,” said Ms Te Heu Heu.

Lester Oakes, Chief Executive of Career Services, says that the Symposium is a vitally important event that has led to the creation of several international career development networks, such as the International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy, since it was first held in 2002.

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“A core part of the Symposium is the sharing of information about career development initiatives that have been proven to work effectively in various countries,” says Oakes.

“As this was the first time the Symposium event has come to New Zealand, we knew it would provide the perfect platform for New Zealand and the Pacific to begin looking at ways in which we could learn from others and build stronger career development networks from a Pacific regional perspective,” says Oakes.

“To hold the first meeting of the Pacific Careers Network at this Symposium is a very exciting outcome, and one that we’ve been working towards for a number of years. We are looking forward to directing our ongoing activities towards creating career development initiatives that will have significant benefit for Pacific peoples in New Zealand and their home countries.”

Representatives at the meeting included the Hon. Lord Tuivakano, Tonga’s Minister for Employment, Youth and Sport, officials from the Tongan Ministry of Education, the Secretary of Government for Niue, and representatives from the Samoan Ministry of Community, Social Development and Youth. The Department of the Prime Minister from the Cook Islands was also represented, along with the Solomon Islands and the South Pacific Board for Educational Assessment.

Attendees at the meeting were invited to contribute perspectives on how career development is functioning for people in their own country, and how they might better work together for the development of the Pacific Careers Network.

The Symposium is continuing until Tuesday afternoon. Some of the Pacific nation attendees will stay on in Wellington to take the opportunity to develop their understanding of current thinking on career development along with 800 other delegates at the International Careers Conference ‘Transforming Careers – Unleashing Potential’ being held at the Michael Fowler Centre from this Thursday.

Following this, the Pacific Careers Network representatives will return to their respective Islands to consider the next steps with their governments.

For more information on the goals of the Symposium on Career Development and Public Policy, visit


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