Twenty Nine (29) Assistant Youth Officers today begin a two day induction workshop at the Youth Training Centre in Valelevu.

Recruited
as part of the ministry’s new strategy for more engagement with the country’s
young population, the new officers will also play a vital role in fulfilling
the government’s national objective for youths.

Addressing
the officers while opening the induction workshop, Minister for Employment,
Productivity, Industrial Relations and Youth and Sports Hon. Parveen Kumar Bala
said the role of the officers is an essential one in the development of youths
throughout the country.

“Your
position as Assistant Youth Officers is essential to the development of our
clients – the Fijian youths, which will contribute to a better tomorrow for our
society, our economy, and our country,” he said. “How we see ourselves will
translate into how we present ourselves to those that we serve. If we see
ourselves as servants, we are able to listen, we are humble, we value our
clients the youths, we trust and we care.”

“All
that will translate into how our Fijian youth react to you; it will make you
accessible and approachable to them. For that to happen, we need to understand
that youth are not there simply to be talked to and told what to do,” stressed
Mr Bala.

“As
youth officers, you, better than anyone else will know that over 70 percent of
our population falls into the youth demographic and they are an influential
part of the Fijian population.”

The
minister also called on youths to engage fully with the new officers in their
respective localities and to work with them in an inclusive and respective
manner stating that the initiatives of government are for all Fijians and are
inclusive irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and of persons
with disability.

“Treat
those under your care with respect and with duty and come out of this week with
humility, knowing that you are working for the betterment of young people in
Fiji, and in doing so, are striving for the betterment of Fiji itself.

Newly
appointed officer Harneel Prasad while elated with his appointment also admits
that there will be challenges along the way.

“The
first few weeks will be essential as I strive to engage with the youths of my
locality but I am confident that after a few weeks everything will fall into
place,” he said.

“I
concur with the minister that we are servants and must serve with humility and
that will be my line of approach.”

Nausori
lad Eliki Dakuitoga said that awareness will be crucial in order to rope in
youths.

“I
for one will use the first few weeks to create awareness in my locality in
Nausori and get to know the youths I will be working with. The important thing
is to treat them with respect and in an inclusive manner,” said Mr Dakuitoga.

The
twenty nine (29) officers will commence work at their various localities from
Monday next.

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