FORUM FUNDS KIRIBATI TRADES CERTIFICATION PROJECT

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SOUTH PACIFIC FORUM SECRETARIAT Suva, Fiji Islands

PRESS STATEMENT February 26, 1999

Kiribati is to review the way it certifies trades people with help from the Short Term Advisory Services scheme administered by the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

The Kiribati Ministry of Labor, Employment and Cooperatives has contracted the Fiji National Training Council (FNTC) to carry out the work. Two FNTC officials, Mr. Jone Usamate and Mr. Ledua Mafi, will come up with recommendations aimed at improving the assessment procedures used by the Kiribati National Trade Upgrading and Testing Scheme.

Since its establishment in 1986, the certification scheme has covered more than 200 people, mostly from the public sector with growing interest from the private sector.

"Among the reasons for the review is that small island economies are increasingly becoming integrated into the global economy and must upgrade their skills and standards to help them cope with the changes," said Secretary General Mr. Noel Levi, CBE.

"The greater emphasis on private sector development and export-led growth is also linked to an increased demand for people with suitable trade qualifications. The level of skills required is guided by market needs and these are influenced by the changing regional and international standards," Mr. Levi said.

By aligning the Kiribati standards with those in nearby markets, this is expected to make it easier for tradespeople with Kiribati qualifications to be employable within Forum member countries in the region and elsewhere.

The review team completes its initial work early next month before submitting recommendations to the Kiribati government.

The Secretariat's funding assistance scheme provides for funding of consultancies for up to six weeks with the requests normally channeled through the governments of the Forum member states.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Ulafala Aiavao (UlafalaA@forumsec.org.fj)

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