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Young people to benefit from new programme

Press Release – Pacific Economic Development Agency

A new programme funded by government will target young people who lack the qualifications to seek higher learning, says the head of the Pacific Economic Development Agency, JR Pereira.Young people to benefit from new programme

A new programme funded by government will target young people who lack the qualifications to seek higher learning, says the head of the Pacific Economic Development Agency, JR Pereira.

“Many of our young people leave the school system without the qualifications for higher learning, or the skills to get better jobs and incomes. These young people are still important to us.

“However, the current funding criteria for this group stops at 18. We saw a gap and developed a project to target 19-24 year olds,” Mr Pereira said.

The consultations from 2008 included representatives from all the main political parties, youth and church networks, academics and private sector, and local and central government.

The main outcome was the Auckland Pacific Economic and Social Transformation Agenda (APESTA), with Skills Development identified as one of the priorities.

The pilot scheme for a Pacific pre-Trade Course was delivered in 2008 by Trainsmart in west Auckland. Most of the previously unskilled students were then able to enrol in trades courses at tertiary level.

That pilot is the basis of an expanded programme, known as the Pacific Skilled Employment scheme, to be delivered over four years in partnership with key stakeholders.

“Those people who were with us from 2008, when there was no money, understand our focus. We are grateful for the opportunity to turn some of their very good ideas into work that will benefit young people.”

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