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A student at Oceania Careers Academy.

Photo/Oceania Careers Academy


Major trades and health training provider calls for more Niuean youth

The Fono reported fewer Niuean enrollees than their many Tongan and Sāmoan graduates.

Vaimaila Leatinu'u
Aui'a Vaimaila Leatinu'u
08 November 2023, 12:04pm
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One of Auckland's largest health and trades training providers is calling on Niuean youth to explore their free courses.

The Fono offers certification in trades and the health sector, yet reports fewer Niuean enrollees than their many Tongan and Samoan graduates.

Marketing communications manager Frank Koloi says enrolling Pacific youth can help divert them away from low-paying career paths.

"Our average income for Pacific is still around $23,000 a year. That doesn't even cover rent," Koloi says.

"The programmes we run out of our educational arm - Oceania Careers Academy (OCA) at Ascot Road in Māngere - is all about supporting our families to increase their household income," Koloi says.

Koloi says they and other Pacific providers provide opportunities and support to help divert Pacific youth from entering the workforce unprepared and underpaid.

"The one thing that we're very proud of at OCA is the mentoring and pastoral care support that we provide, not just the students, but their families [also]."

Health and wellbeing student Malama says every Tuesday the students receive boxes of food which they separate for those in need.

Malama says they also pay for students to get their driver's license and provide transport.

"They pick you up in the mornings and take you back home after course," Malama says.

Fellow health and wellbeing student Moala who's studying to become a youth worker encourages Niuean youth to apply.

"I know it's scary when you jump into new things you'll dislike it at first but then you'll grow to like it," Moala says.

"That was me with the Health and Wellbeing course but I grew to like it.

"It taught me a lot of things, not just about the sector but it also taught me things about myself."

To watch the full interview on PMN Niue, click here.

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