“Parents need to encourage their children to work hard and start a business rather than working hard to get a job.”
This was highlighted by the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate as he commissioned the Namara Pilot Project.
Usamate highlighted that the employment rate was 7.1% in 2010 and as of today it had dropped to 4.5%. He also said that his ministry is targeting school leavers the most as they are the vulnerable when it comes to finding work.
Furthermore, Usamate said that the Pilot Project in Namara was the first of its kind in the country and said this was just the first stage as his ministry will use this project as a base for villagers looking to work under seasonal workers scheme overseas.
He added that the ministry aims to use more people from villagers as they are very hardworking and will use their money to improve their lifestyle in the village rather than moving to urban centres.
Mariko Rokolato who is the village headman says he is thankful for Governments support.
He said within the 8 years of his service he has witnessed firsthand the goodwill of the government and says the smiles on his people’s face is a testimony of their greatness.
The Namara Pilot Project employs 30 villagers and creates a source of income for the village through the planting of sandalwood.
Mr Rokolato said the 30 villagers who are part of the Pilot Project are also part of NEC and receive $100 a week for their hard work.
The village headman said they are very thankful to the Fijian Government as the money villagers receive help them with their daily expenses and in the long run the sandal wood will bring in money for the future generation.