Contents Page Abbreviations
Introduction Purpose of Report
Background Vocational Centres Summary
Current Status Objective and Aims of Vocational Centres
A Model Vocational Centre
Challenges Challenges faced by Vocational Centres
Future developments and opportunities Strategic Planning and Direction
Key Priorities and Initiatives
Labour Market supply vs demand
Appendix A- Vocational School Enrolment 2007
B- Employment needs Analysis
C- Strategic Direction for TVET
Asian Development Bank
Australian Agency for International Development
Fiji College of Advanced Education
Fiji Education Sector Program
Fiji Institute of Technology
Fiji School Leaving Certificate Examination
Government of Fiji
Government of Australia
Monitoring & Evaluation
Ministry of Education
National Curriculum Framework
Non Government Organisation
National Strategic Development Plan
Research and Development
Risk Management Plan
Training Needs Analysis
Training Production Authority of Fiji
Technical and Vocational Education and Training
University of the South Pacific
Introduction Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) in Fiji The job market is dynamic, requiring individuals to possess a combination of knowledge, practical and social skills and positive attitudes. Fiji, like many developing nations, is seeking to create bridges between education and the world of work. It has been acknowledged that a strong Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector with its associated high standard of training and accreditation driven by industry standards is the backbone for a strong economy and workforce. TVET contributes to an education by providing technical skills and societal values. Not all children are academically inclined and often don’t perform well in the formal academic stream. Every year over 17,000 new entrants join the labour market in Fiji, including about 14,000 school leavers. A substantial number who do not qualify for further education in tertiary institutions, need to be adequately prepared for the world of work or have access to alternative education. Vocational education provides the opportunity for these students to continue their education and possibly find employment. TVET is also a pathway to a viable career for students with good academic performance. There is a skills shortage in Fiji in many areas, yet every year many students are graduating from university with qualifications that do not lead to employment. As in many other countries, many of these students may well become attracted to a vocational pathway that leads to a job in an area of need. Job opportunities, not only in Fiji but worldwide, are in the areas where technical skills are required. Society’s view on training most of our students for white-collar jobs is no longer realistic and is changing as jobs now available are those that require practical skills. Vocational Education and Training refers to all forms of training provided in both the formal and non-formal sectors that lead to an occupation or vocation. Vocational Education in the Secondary school system is designed to prepare semi-skilled workers through practical training and knowledge to meet industry and market needs. Fiji has 66 Vocational Centres in the Secondary school system offering courses, 129 in total in areas such as Automotive Engineering, Hospitality, Carpentry and Joinery, Agriculture and Office Technology. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology recognises TVET as a priority area, playing an important role as one of it’s four supporting pillars in children’s educational development. This is reflected in the National and MoEST Strategic Plan 2006-2008 and the Suva Declaration 2005.
Purpose of this Report Over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Schools/Centres (VC’s) offering Vocational programmes. In 2004 there were 47 schools while in 2007 there are 66 offering vocational programmes. The number of different programmes offered in each VC has also increased. Management committees often decide which vocational centres would be good for their area according to their own needs and facilities. The Government of Fiji is Num ber of Vocational Centres firmly behind the establishment of VCs but there is a lack of consistency in 70 their planning and development. Alignment with other tertiary delivery 60 such as FIT and TPAF is also not 66 50 62 consistent or strategic. Competition 57 40 between neighbouring schools and 47 institutions becomes apparent through 30 student enrolment and retention 20 figures. Little analysis of local employment opportunities and the 10 relevance of vocational programmes 0 are being conducted by vocational 2004 2005 2006 2007 centres.
The purpose of this report is to provide background information and analyse current delivery in vocational centres. Strategic direction can then be established for Vocational Centres to: o
Clarify the roles and objectives of Vocational Centres;
Ascertain criteria for the establishment of new vocational schools/centres;
Evaluate effectiveness of existing centres and pathways to tertiary education and employment opportunities;
Make recommendations to Vocational Schools and Centres for establishment and recognition of viable vocational programs.
Discussions with MoE key stakeholders to look at future TVET strategies including the clustering of vocational centres to pool and share resources commenced in early 2007. Further whole of system strategies that relate to the policy of Establishment and Operation of Vocational Schools are included in this report.
Methodology The methodology includes a formative and summative evaluation of Vocational Centres in Fiji. The formative evaluation involved qualitative research (discussion/viewpoint based tools) to determine the perception of the current courses offered. Baseline data on student enrolment and tracer figures were also collected for the first time at all Vocational programs across Fiji. This quantitative data will continue to help measure the outcomes of programs when analysed over time. It should be noted that the data collected is not exhaustive but is adequate for conclusive summation. Analysis of Labour Market Needs across Fiji have also been included in this report to help align vocational programs with employment opportunities. Further data and analysis in local catchment area of Vocational Centres needs to be conducted for more comprehensive analysis.
Background Vocational Education in Schools The Vocational Education and Training courses offered in Schools/Centres caters for students aged from 1524 years that have completed formal secondary education at least to form 4 level. Courses are offered in two types of institutions. First, the school based programme whereby it is attached to the formal system (secondary education) and abides by the rules and regulations of the school. The other is through independent or stand alone institutions which are non-government governed. Both forms of Vocational Education and Training use the prescribed curriculum offered by the MoE and/or FIT. The number of schools/centres approved to offer Vocational courses has continued to increase since 1975. Many of these institutions have also increased the number of different vocational courses being offered. The traditional courses being offered in these schools/centres include: • • • • •
Carpentry & Joinery Automotive Engineering Catering & Tailoring Vocational Agriculture Office Technology
Other courses have also been introduced in recent years including: • • • • •
Beauty Therapy Welding Fabrication Forestry Housekeeping Baking and Patisserie
There are 66 Vocational Centres (VCs) in 2007 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in Fiji, including three Special Schools for students with disabilities. Most centres offer one or two of the following courses. (A few offer three or more courses) • • • • •
Automotive Engineering Carpentry & Joinery Catering & Tailoring Vocational Agriculture Office Technology
Fiji Vocational Certificate (FVC) versus FIT franchise. Several schools are only offering FIT franchised programs. They either find it difficult to offer both the FIT franchised programme and Vocational Certificate concurrently or do not see the value of the Vocational Certificate offered through MoE.
These courses provide students with the platform on which the acquisition of a trade or a skill could be further developed either at FIT/TPAF or as an apprentice in organisations like Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) or Public works department (PWD). The VCs prepare students for the Fiji Vocational Certificate (FVC), while some are franchised by the Fiji Institute of Technology (FIT) to offer the first Stages of the Trade Certificate. A number of centres put their students through a Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji (TPAF) examination which enables them to achieve recognition at the Fiji National Training Council (FNTC) Class III level. The FVC and the TPAF courses are regarded as more practical and less stringent than the FIT franchised courses. The ratio of practical to theoretical content is different between the two disparate pathways. The FVC is designed to prepare students for immediate entry into the workplace and sometimes further study, while a pass in a franchised course gains students their admission to FIT, where they go on to prepare for the Trade Certificate, or a higher qualification. This situation has created a contradiction in the basic purpose and nature of the Vocational Centres. The FVC course encourages a concentration on practical skills and leads directly into the workforce, while the franchised courses may require up to 50% cognitive skills and theory to prepare students for further study.
Entry level Students failing academic examinations at Form IV level are the most likely to enter the Vocational Centres. However, now that the demand for vocational courses has increased and the available places have not kept pace, more students are entering from Form V, Form VI or even Form VII. These are typically students who have failed the academic examination at these levels, but there are exceptions to this. This has raised a major issue. VC training has attracted a poor reputation, both within the school and within the community, as a second class option, or a second chance pathway for those who fail in mainstream secondary education.
Work placement Industrial attachment, work attachment or most commonly known as work placement has been an integral component of vocational skill training where students gain practical experience. Over the years, the industries have been instrumental in providing industry related skills on the job to the vocational students. Work placements are often a course requirement but are not formally assessed or monitored by the school. Stages 1 and 2 of the FIT franchised programs require students to participate in such attachments within industry or communities to gain experience. Schools indicated that many of their students actually got employment post-school this way.
Monfort Boys Town - Technical Institute Monfort Boys Town is a vocational centre run by the Catholic order of Monfort Brothers of St Gabriel, with the support of the Government of Fiji, under the Minister of Education. Its objectives are to enable school dropouts, economically poor or disadvantaged youth to regain self-esteem and to find a means of livelihood and their place in society as nation builders. The government finances about 40% of the costs of the institution. The centre is very well set up with excellent classrooms and workshops which are well stocked with equipment, tools and consumables. The success rate of the graduates is exceptionally high of which they are justifiably proud. It claims to have 100% completion and employment rate of its graduates. The centre enrols over 130 students from disadvantaged backgrounds and puts them through a two or three year training program in either fitting and machining, cabinet making and upholstery, building construction, carpentry and plumbing, electrical and automobile maintenance or panel beating. The quality of training is evident in the products and samples produced by students.
It has also been used as one method by schools to develop partnerships with local business and industry. Some of the other benefits of work placement include: An introduction to possible career pathways. A meaningful input into the preparation for the transition from school to work. The opportunity to acquire skills identified in specific industries in the workplace. The opportunity to see first-hand what employment in the chosen industry area is really like. Interaction between teachers and employers can enhance and align training methods in the classroom more closely with industry practice. o Teachers may be able to access employers and industry as a way towards improving their technical expertise in a particular industry area. o Opportunity for work placed training and assessment reducing the cost of institutional based training. While the general reaction to work placements from business and industry has been supportive and at times overwhelming, there are other essential issues and challenges such as OHS in the workplace and insurance coverage during practical periods that remain unsolved. Ongoing development and refinement of workplace guidelines will strengthen the effectiveness of work placement. o o o o o
Links with industry Industry operates in a continually changing and challenging environment that requires enterprises to be innovative and flexible in order to remain competitive. Vocational education providers have to be aware of the needs and nature of industry and be responsive to their changing environment. The development of institution-industry links is seen as a way of enhancing the outcomes for students as well as benefiting the local industry and community. The aim of developing these links is that it commits the participants to work together for mutually beneficial outcomes, which help create long term collaborative partnerships.
Industry operates in a continually changing and challenging environment that requires enterprises to be innovative and flexible in order to remain competitive. Vocational education providers have to be aware of the needs and nature of industry and be responsive to their changing environment. This presents its own challenges for Vocational education. With long term collaborative industry links, these challenges can be met. The Government and Ministry of Education are aware of the benefits of Institution-Industry linkage to the socio-economic development of the nation, and are supporting these relationships. In July 2005, industrial visits to industry were conducted at each area where school visits were made. The local industries were very supportive and accommodating with the visits of advisor, counterpart and vocational centre staff, often including the principal. Further industry visits and partnerships have been supported and developed in 2006, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industry. In 2007 an industry compact was also established in the Automotive Engineering area. A strong link which already exists and needs to be sustained is work placement. Policies and guidelines for work placement will assist in long term collaboration. There are limited local industry education links with individual centres and there is a need to establish stronger industry education links. Also TVET, on behalf of MoE, should be developing similar links at a broader, strategic level, with larger employer and industry groups across Fiji and gaining their input to make systemic changes to TVET curriculum and delivery strategies.
Links to National and MoE Plans The Suva Declaration – 2005 (5.2) states that ‘TVET programmes should create alternative pathways for learning and employment opportunities for student and early school leavers’. This will help establish TVET as an acceptable alternative and not as a “second rate” option. The Suva Declaration – 2005 (5.5) also states that ‘TVET programmes should foster quality partnerships and linkages between educational institutions, communities, business and industries, provincial councils and national advisory councils to enhance the education, training and employment of early school leavers and students’.
Education Sector 3
Education Sector 4c
Education Sector 1
To strengthen quality partnerships between government & other stakeholders
To promote nation building through social justice programme to strengthen & expand TVET
To ensure access to quality education
Communities will have greater participation in education
Links to industry will be strengthened
Increased participation in education for children & adults
Children & adults of Fiji, esp. those in disadvantaged groups will have access to a quality education
TVET programmes should foster quality partnerships and linkages
TVET programmes should create alternative pathways for learning and employment 5
Current Status Objective and Aims of Vocational Centres All schools and Centres in Fiji that offer Vocational education endeavour to provide relevant, quality and flexible training and education to produce technically semi-skilled workers for the formal and informal workforce. The Vocational education courses are designed with the following objectives: • • • •
To develop paid employment skills For developing self-employment skills For further education To develop lifelong skills amongst students to contribute meaningfully in the community
These objectives were formulated in the early nineties and should remain current for the foreseeable future. They vary in importance and relevance for each centre according to local employment opportunities and access to further education. While the last objective is still achievable for schools/centres in the rural and very remote areas, the infrastructure, equipment and facilities in most centres is not adequate to fully satisfy the other objectives. If the students can graduate from the course and have successful transition to employment, further training or a combination of these means that the course is meeting not only the students’ needs but also those of the employers and industry in the area and therefore is a key success criterion. At the end of a vocational course/programme, graduates are awarded the Fiji Vocational Certificate and useful information on student performance for potential employers.
Course summary 129 programmes were offered in the 66 Vocational Centres (VCs) in 2007 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education in Fiji, most centres offer one or two of the following courses. • • • • •
Automotive Engineering Carpentry & Joinery Catering & Tailoring Vocational Agriculture Office Technology
Approximately 75% of the time is spent on practical activities, 25% theory. At the end of their two years programme graduates must pass internal practical & theoretical examinations set by teachers at the Centres in order to receive a Fiji Vocational Certificate in their field of specialisation.
Number of Vocational Centres by Discipline 40 35 36
20 15 16 10
0 Auto Engineering
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
Number of Centres by Discipline Division
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
Central Eastern Northern Western
10 1 5 13
11 8 5 12
13 3 4 14
5 1 5 5
5 1 2 4
1 0 0 1
45 14 21 49
The majority of students and thus vocational centres are in 3 areas: •
Auto Engineering – 890 in 2007
Carpentry & Joinery – 604 in 2007
Catering & or Tailoring – 1084 in 2007
Of the 2863 students in 2007, 66% were Male and 34% Female. The primarily reason more males access vocational education is the programmes/trades that are offered, such as Automotive, Carpentry and joinery, are more attractive to male students.
Chart of all schools numbers and total summary - 2007 Total
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
Many of the vocational classes have an unrealistic class size. Some of the programmes have two many students (over 20 is considered to large), and some currently have less then 10 students. The three charts below illustrate the averages by discipline in 2007.
Average Num ber of students by Discipline 35.0 30.7 30.0 31.9 25.0 21.0 20.0 15.0 16.8 10.0 11.3 5.0 6.6 0.0 Auto Engineering
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
Vocational Centres w ith less then 10 students by Discipline 70% 60%
50% 40% 38%
30% 20% 24% 10% 0%
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
2007 Number of Centres with less then 10 students by Discipline Auto Engineering
Less 10 % of Total Num
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & or Tailoring
Classes that have less then 10 students are at risk from being suspended due to viability. Once a centre is suspended it is often difficult for it to become active again. Agriculture is the most challenging area to for student’s enrolments. In 2007, 28 centres in total had less then 10 students this is 21% of the total vocational programmes.
Franchising and pathways approach The development of pathways for students is critical if students are to see TVET as a viable option and as a means of attaining employment and/or further training in an industry area. Two pilot alternative pathways have been established in recent years: 2005 : Nadi College alternative pathway in Hospitality 2007 : Ratu Mara College alternative pathway in Forestry – ‘Applied certificate in wood technology’ The Hospitality pathway allows students to enter at an earlier age (form 4), while still ensuring academic rigour. The Forestry pathway has been developed along with the Ministry of Forestry and FIT and provides excellent pathways leading to trade certificate, diploma and even degree level courses. Pilots will need to be monitored and evaluated closely before replication is recommended. Other alternative pathways should be explored and most importantly driven by industry standards and practice. A pilot for Marine studies has been proposed for 2008, this could become the first marine studies course to be conducted in Fiji. FIT franchising arrangements allow the students to take FIT stage I, II and sometimes stage III from within the vocational school programme. This provides benefits to schools and students such as: • They are a much cheaper alternative for students wanting to go to FIT. • Curriculum is supplied by FIT for the programme, although much of it needs updating to meet industry needs and it is not competency based. • The programme requires students to participate in such attachments within industry or communities to gain experience. Schools indicated that many of their students actually got employment post-school this way. • Students can continue with the next stage of FIT upon completion of stages offered at VC’s. 8
A number of Vocational centres were assisted in 2005 through the Fiji Education Sector Programme (FESP) to become FIT franchised. Other neighbouring schools have seen the benefits to the students and centre and endeavoured to become franchised. Many have become successful and in 2007 almost half (47%) of the programmes were franchised. Automotive Engineering leading the way with 83% of there centres franchised in 24 schools. The following programs are offered through franchised scheme at FIT: • • • • • • • •
Trade Certificate in Agro Engineering Trade Certificate in Welding Fabrication Trade Certificate in Carpentry &m Joinery or Class 3 Certificate Trade Certificate in Automotive Engineering Trade Certificate in Commercial Baking Trade Certificate in Cookery Certificate in House Keeping Trade Certificate in Food Service Num ber of Franchised Centres by discipline 30 25 24 20 19
15 10 5
Carpentry & Joinery
Catering & Tailoring
FIT franchises should not be viewed as the only pathway option for vocational centres. Some other points should also be considered for FIT franchise arrangements: • They are costly to the students compared to the Fiji Vocational Certificate • They compete with MoE vocational qualification and overlap with TPAF trade testing • Limitations on the course are placed such as the size of class and level of training. • Curriculum is often not industry orientated, highly theoretical and relies on work attachments for practical competency. Other alternatives will hopefully exist in the future. Refer to Towards 2012 - Review and Development of new Fiji Vocational Certificate. Number of Franchised Centres by Vocational Discipline - 2007
Agriculture Automotive Engineering Carpentry & Joinery Catering & Tailoring Office Technology Welding Fabrication Totals
Number Have Centres Franchise 11 2 29 24 36 19 34 8 15 5 2 2 127 60
% 18% 83% 53% 24% 33% 100% 47%
% 2 21 13 8 4 2 50
18% 72% 36% 24% 27% 100% 39%
TPAF 0 15 12 1 0 0 28
0% 52% 33% 3% 0% 0% 22%
% 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
0% 0% 0% 0% 13% 0% 2%
Tracer Studies Tracer studies have been used to help gauge the effectiveness of the vocational course that they undertook in terms of assisting them to achieve long-term goals such as employment and further training. Since 2005 a number of centres commenced collection of base line data. This was the start of a long-term strategy so that over the years, patterns of student participation and destinations can be observed, analysed and acted upon by both individual vocational centers and the MoE. In 2007 the first national tracer survey of every VC’s was conducted, it is hoped that this will continue in future years to gather representative figures at a national level. The student tracer survey results will have implications for the vocational centres in looking at whether the courses the students undertake actually allow them to make successful and long term transition from vocational courses to employment and further training. In 2007 a total of 1148 students that completed studies in 2006 where traced. The table below provides the total students survey results for the different vocational areas. A total of 808 students graduated in 2006 and were awarded with the Fiji Vocational Certificate. Some of the interesting statistics from this tracer survey are: •
447 students (39%) went onto further studies at FIT, TPAF or other institution.
384 students (33%) got employment after leaving the VC’s in 2006
Automotive and Catering/Tailoring had the most successful results: o Automotive had 45% (201) of students go onto further studies and 26% get employment o Catering and Tailoring had 48% of students get employment and 27% go onto further studies
Student Tracer Survey Results - 2007 Studying at FIT, TPAF or Other Vocational Area
Agriculture Total Automotive Engineering Total Carpentry & Joinery Total Catering & Tailoring Total Office Technology Total Welding Fabrication Total
7 199 70 39 3 0
F 3 2 1 81 42 0
Total 10 201 71 120 45 0
% 2% 45% 16% 27% 10% 0%
Got Employment M
4 97 77 62 3 0
0 1 1 121 18 0
4 98 78 183 21 0
Other destination % 1% 26% 20% 48% 5% 0%
1 29 28 29 1 0
0 0 0 36 8 0
1 29 28 65 9 0
Don't know what student is doing % 1% 22% 21% 49% 7% 0%
4 50 57 15 3 0
0 0 0 40 16 0
4 50 57 55 19 0
Agriculture Studies Decline of students enrolling in agriculture courses has been more evident since drop in the sugarcane industry. Other contributing factors include: • • • •
Competition with more attractive courses such as Hospitality and Carpentry/Joinery which have better employment opportunities Lack of quality skilled teachers in Agriculture area Harder work requirements for students Lack of incentive particularly as a good potential income earner
Possible solutions to address this issue include: • • • •
Better training for Teachers Links with Ministry of Agriculture to support vocational courses Promotion through Advocacy and other Government media programs. Link to Tourism needs to diversify crops that give better financial returns.
% 2% 27% 31% 30% 10% 0%
Teacher Qualifications and Industry experience To have an effective TVET system, teachers need to progress beyond basic generic skills and adopt more advanced pedagogical expertise, particularly with a focus on current industry knowledge and expertise. The MoE recognises the ‘need for appropriate qualification and training to meet the demands of industry and the community. Existing teachers need to have access to regular up-skilling training and industry attachments.’ 1 This has a direct affect on student outcomes particularly the industry relevance of training provided as teachers practical skills imparted to their students. TVET teachers ideally need two sets of qualifications, a teaching qualification and another in their specialised skill area. Most teachers have both qualifications, or are currently working towards their International Diploma in Tertiary Nakuvandra - a Case example Teaching (IDTT), offered through FIT. The typical situation is for a FESP purchased a tractor for the vocational teacher to be appointed on the basis of a Diploma, a Certificate Agriculture course in 2005. This or significant expertise as a tradesperson in a relevant area and then, once was not been utilised and students appointed, to enrol with FIT to complete the IDTT part time. Industry have had no experience or training experience is not compulsory for teachers, but is seen as advantageous. with its use as the Agriculture Some teachers go on to do extension courses through universities such as teacher doesn’t have a tractor USP and University of Newcastle working towards a BEd. Those who don’t license. Further funding had to be go on with further study find it difficult to keep up with changing knowledge provided in 2006 for the up-skilling and skills in their teaching areas and miss the opportunity of sharing ideas of the Agriculture teacher. The and discussing their problems with fellow teachers. There is very little tractor is now be used as part of professional development provided through the MoE for VC teachers, the vocational education mainly due to a lack of available funds within TVET section. programme.
Current Status There are many teachers in the vocational areas that have little skill experience within the area they are teaching and or no qualifications for that area. In some instances it is quite obvious that the teacher also has little or no relevant industrial experience in the area they are teaching. The tables below show the qualifications and experience needed by TVET teachers, and the number of trained and untrained teachers.
Agriculture Science Computer Education Home Economics Industrial Arts Office Technology Automotive Engineering Carpentry and Joinery Catering and Tailoring
Total Number of Teachers
Degree Teacher Trained*
Degree in Major Untrained Teacher
Diploma in Major
Diploma Teacher Trained*
Trade/Specialised Certificate Teacher Trained*
* Qualification in both Vocation and Teaching
MoE Building a Strategic Direction for Education in Fiji. 2006 - 2015 11
MoE staff have estimated the number of current teachers that lack current skills needed for effective TVET training and particular areas that need upskilling.
Total Number of Teachers 2007
Estimate without Industry Training
Estimated No# needing training
Carpentry and Joinery
Catering and Tailoring
The table below highlights some of the areas that teachers need experience in.
Key areas of industry experience needed in each discipline Subject Area
Carpentry and Joinery
Catering and Tailoring
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
All vegetable production as taught in schools. Raising selected livestock as taught in schools Poultry farming Building construction of a livestock shed Agriculture engineering Forestry and conservation Basic Marine Studies Diagnostic skills Removal and overhaul engine Electrical and Electronics Knowledge and Diagnostics Customer relations and costing Diagnose and repair drive train eg. Wheels, brakes, suspension, gearbox, etc Machinery operation / latest tools/ technology Fine Finishing Innovative drawing plans and design High skilled joinery and cabinet making techniques Upholstery Dining Room Service House Keeping/ Front Desk operations Food and Beverage Service/ Baking and Patisseries Telephone Techniques Hygiene & Grooming Bar Operations Fabric Handling/ Contemporary Shortcut Production Run Quality Control/ Marketing Complex Garment Construction Stages 2 & 3 of Word Processing- Microsoft Word Stages 2 & 3 of Excel & Access Stages 2 & 3 of Powerpoint and Publisher Computer Maintenance and Repair Receptionist Responsibilities Office Management
Estimated averages of 44% of TVET teachers do not have any industry experience. Given the proper industry exposure and experience the teaching of TVET subjects in schools will definitely improve. The industry experience will enable TVET teachers to realise the issues, skills, and current practice. After such exposure the teachers will provide more relevant training in schools. It also recognised that upgrading of facilities and curriculum is pointless unless teachers are skilled and proficient in there use and effectively develop students’ employability skills. TVET Teachers need: • • •
Knowledge of current and emerging industry processes, systems and technologies appropriate to the industry. Enhanced understanding of business needs and skills to tailor programs and work in different contexts. Concepts and processes to support the development of students’ employability skills.
Curriculum The education system is supposed to provide a system that will facilitate the needs of all children irrespective of their different abilities and capabilities as well as the different environments they live in. It therefore is committed to ensuring that a relevant and appropriate curriculum is provided that will not only meet the needs of the children but simultaneously will provide the opportunity for transition into the next level whether it be further training or for employment. Existing curriculum is now geared towards changes to meet employment demands but this needs to be aggressively addressed in order that a more comprehensive undertaking is provided that will ensure the availability of a more appropriate pathway in the school system. The diversification of the labour market needs has brought about the many different types of subjects and disciplines that now make up the TVET curriculum. The combined forces of globalization and the rapid changes in technology have brought about this diversification. It is therefore important that the TVET curriculum must be aligned to meet these changes in order that pathways are created to facilitate the needs of the children. Vocational programme provides a range of skill development programmes which currently are geared towards satisfying one or two of the above needs. The development of these syllabi are based on a number of issues ranging from the above objectives, perceived students vocational needs but little or no consideration is given to industry or employers’ needs. The strength and appropriateness of creating link industry can continue to provide training that is relevant and up to date with industry trends. There are however, concerns that industry may have too high an expectation of what can be delivered in entry-level training. Industry expects graduates who can easily fit into their specific businesses. On the other hand, it is felt that industry also needs to understand that the institute can only provide training that is generic to the industry and that it is up to individual businesses to train employees to their particular ways of doing things. With the development of industry compacts and individual partnerships, better communication and identification of expectations and training issues can be addressed. Vocational Centres often don’t need complex or advanced technical skills. The industry is often requiring specific training or tasks to be done in a certain way. For example, the first industry compact meeting for hospitality was held in August 2006 and the industry commented that attitude, willingness to learn and outgoing students are qualities that will make a graduate marketable.
Facilities Through MOE consultations with industries, relevant government departments and ministries, Fiji Employers Federation, Tertiary Institutions and other stakeholders, TVET hopes to determine the most appropriate and desired educational and training outcomes that are driven by needs in the industry and focused on life skills and contexts. The provision of TVET education is always an expensive exercise whether it is academic or vocational TVET. For the total of 165 secondary schools in Fiji offering five TVET academic programmes from forms 3 to 7 with the inclusion of 66 vocational centres offering five vocational courses, the task of delivering effective teaching learning of a TVET is challenging. Regular funding source is the central focus when it comes to purchasing tools, equipment and provision of proper infrastructure in order to spearhead major TVET development projects in terms of employable skills or skills for private employment. This will provide the financial impact necessary for the general public to appreciate the significance of TVET in our lives and society. For Fiji the reduction of TVET budget over the last five years does not reflect a picture that TVET is a priority area. These funds are apportioned according to the number of students in the vocational centres. In 2004 13
they MoE received $227,000, in 2005- $197,000 and in 2006 only $97,000. As the number of centres and students enrolled increase, funding per student decreases, impacting negatively on support to vocational centres in Fiji. Moreover, the reduction of vocational allocation to purchase graduating tools and equipment from $400 a pack / toolbox to $85 by the year 2000 was a major setback. This fund was completely withdrawn in 2002 due to tight financial constraints by the ministry. It has a drastic impact on student’s intake in schools as from the year 2000. Remote rural vocational schools and island schools were the ones that were the most greatly affected. Some centres were on the verge of closing down as a result. According to the annual report of 2001, approximately 80% of the workshops are poorly equipped and well below the industry standard. The huge task ahead is to revamp TVET with a priority of providing proper tools, equipment and infrastructure of internal standard that warrants specialized and multi-skilling or up-skilling of the workforce. The survey of all VC’s conducted in 2007 provided each schools opinion of equipment and facilities. 70% of schools felt they were still inadequately equipped for current delivery, 58% of these have an increasing demand/enrolments in there course. Of the 30% that said they had adequate equipment a 1/3 were assisted by donors such as the Australian Government through FESP. A number of other funding sources have been identified besides the MoE. The short term strategy is to fully utilised these to assist properly facilities VC’s. They include but are not limited to NGO’s, industry, overseas aid, other ministries, and the community. Vocational centres have the potential to be utilised in new and different ways that maximise the use of resources as well as providing young people with a range of alternatives. The links between enterprise education and the vocational centres needs to be further developed. Whilst some enterprise activity is evident, a move to a more student centred approach should be promoted and it may also be a means for vocational centres to generate some income and promote sustainability of the centres. In addition, links to the AVT program need to be further investigated and developed where vocational centres may have the potential to be used as short term training facilities, either during school hours or after hours. It should also be noted that many vocational centres, not just the pilot schools, have found other funding support through industry linkages and this will hopefully become a basis for raising the level of vocational training across Fiji.
A Model Vocational Centre - Ratu Navula Secondary. Ratu Navula Secondary school has become a model vocational centre in Fiji. It is situated in the urban area of Nadi, being quite strategically placed on the cross road for the major hotels and tourist destinations in Nadi and the Coral Coast. This provides excellent employment opportunities for graduating students. Established in 1990, the school currently has an enrolment of 584 of which 229 are Vocational students. Three main courses are offered to the students. These are Carpentry and Joinery, Automotive Engineering and Catering and Tailoring Production. The Fiji Education Sector Programme (FESP) supported area of Food Production and Food and Beverage Services has 154 students enrolled in 2007. This course is very popular and the numbers are rising primarily because of the good leadership, employment opportunities and support given through FESP to upgrade the standard of delivery. The Ratu Navula Secondary students all do industrial attachments during Catering & Tailoring their second year of studies. There is a high employment rate upon completion from these 200 courses. The school also has a working restaurant which allows students to prepare and 150 serve food and beverages to customers. This is an excellent example for other vocational 100 154 centres as the students are provided with on the 140 104 50 job practical experience and training within the 63 school environment. 0
Good leadership and innovative practice has lead to increased enrolment, employment opportunities for students and funding opportunities through stronger links with industry.
2,005 saw the first cohort of students graduate from the school. To date, 75% of those students were employed in the hospitality industry. After students complete work attachments, many hotels offer them part time employment while they complete their final schooling. Hotels offered to pay the students exam fees to further assist them. Many of these students undertake part time work immediately after school. Up-skilling of teaches commenced in 2,005. One Hospitality teacher takes time off during the breaks and holidays to do work attachments without pay at the Sheraton hotel. The principal has been developing strong links with the industry. These good relations have resulted in the school receiving a number of donations including an industrial oven and ten computers from the Sheraton Hotel and Tabua Investment. Further discussions have taken place to formalize this relationship for long term benefit including a meeting by the State Minister for TVET in August 2006. One current issue is shortage of classrooms and lack of space in the practical workshops and rooms as enrolment have grown dramatically over the past 5 years. While it has always been difficult to turn down some applications, the administrators have tried their best to accept those who are deserving and meritorious. A new programme â€˜Matuaâ€™ for the community members who cannot access secondary school has been introduced in 2007. It maximises the use of resources by offering classes on two weeknights from 6-8pm. An 8 week course offers basis housekeeping, Dining room service, cookery and tailoring. An article in Focus (AusAID magazine, May 06) highlighted the opportunities it has helped create for local students. Continued good leadership and linkages with industry will contribute to further success coming years.
Challenges The challenges faced by the vocational centres and MoE TVET section are varied and numerous. This report doesn’t intend to summaries them all but recognises and acknowledges patterns and replications over time in areas that affect the overall impact of vocational programmes. These challenges present opportunities for improvement and will contribute to future activities and direction of TVET programmes.
Lack of Planning and Coordination There is a lack of networking with other ministries, tertiary institutions, industries and other stakeholders. This is being strengthened in some areas such as forestry and hospitality but needs development in many other areas such as agriculture, marine studies and Ministry of youth. Duplications of delivery and other aspects of TVET delivery could be improved through a coordinated strategy. A national TVET database has been recognised as a key tool to assist in planning TVET delivery.
Selection of Vocational Centre courses The Vocational areas supported by the MoE are primarily in these five disciplines: • Automotive Engineering • Carpentry & Joinery • Catering & Tailoring • Vocational Agriculture • Office Technology TVET on behalf of MoE has not revised the selection of these traditional areas. Most of them have good employment outcomes and are seen as valuable part of a life long vocation. It seems apparent that a number of VC’s offer a range of these areas; some even offer all of them and thus limiting the effect and level of delivery in each area. Students choose the vocational area they would like to study in, and this has resulted in many areas having a large number and others very small. This has negatively affected many Vocational Agriculture courses such as Nadi College and Nakauvadra, but had a very positive effect on other such as the Catering courses in Ratu Navula and Lomawai. Duplication of courses to nearby vocational centres is also a concern that would eventually reduce the number of student intake per school.
Raised perception of Vocational Education An apparent issue facing vocational centres is the perception that is it a second rate option compared to the academic pathway. This view is voiced by parents, students, local community, teachers and even principals. A student who wishes to follow a vocational career and wants to be part of the vocational training has to fail the academic studies to gain entry to vocational training. If a student passes form VI studies they can then follow on with FIT qualifications which more academic rather practically orientated qualifications. This system discourages students from following vocational studies if they can go further with academic studies. Students and their parents don't wish to have the stigma of being a failure because of vocational studies therefore they often avoid vocational education. The training programs at the Vocational Centres are often seen as a last chance at education for students who have failed the academic studies at school.
Curriculum Relevance The TVET curriculum needs to be competency-based, industry-driven and child-centred rather than examinationaldriven and teacher-centred. In most areas it needs updating to match industry and community needs. There is also a need for the diversification of the curriculum to take cognisance of Fiji’s natural resources such as forestry and fisheries. This will maximise the use of local resources for gainful employment.
Certification At the end of a vocational course/programme, graduates are awarded the Fiji Vocational Certificate and useful information on student performance for potential employers. This certificate is usually not recognised by employers. If students do not complete the requirements of the Fiji Vocational Certificate they are not provided with any statement of achievements.
Evaluation of Vocational Centres Advisory visits are being conducted by Senior Education Officers in a number of the Vocational schools throughout the year. Many of the visits are very thorough but there is a lack of consistency and evaluation through quality audits for continual improvement. Surveys, evaluation and analysis of centres including baseline data such as enrolment and retention figures are not currently being conducted.
Skills of Vocational Teachers It also recognised that upgrading of facilities and curriculum is pointless unless teachers are skilled and proficient in there use and effectively develop students’ employability skills. TVET Teachers need: •
Knowledge of current and emerging industry processes, systems and technologies appropriate to the industry. • Enhanced understanding of business needs and skills to tailor programs and work in different contexts. • Concepts and processes to support the development of students’ employability skills. Estimated averages of 44% of TVET teachers do not have any industry experience. Given the proper industry exposure and experience the teaching of TVET subjects in schools will definitely improve. The industry experience will enable TVET teachers to realise the issues, skills, and current practice. After such exposure the teachers will provide more relevant training in schools.
Funding The existing infrastructures, equipment and facilities in the majority of VC’s in Fiji are of low standard and are not suitable for the development of the relevant skills that are required in the current job market. A handful of schools/centres mainly in the urban areas, to some degree, do match what is required at the industries. The majority of these centres are located in the semi-urban, peri-urban, rural and very remote areas and they do not satisfactorily meet FIT franchised standard. The reduction of TVET budget over the last seven years does not reflect a picture that TVET is a priority area. In 2000 it was $330,000 and in 2007 it was only $100,000. As the number of centres and students enrolled increase, funding per student decreases, impacting negatively on support to vocational centres in Fiji. This reduction has also meant that since 2002 graduating students no longer receive a tool pack, which was an incentive for completion and helped towards self-employment for many.
Future development and opportunities – towards 2012 Strategic Planning and Direction In 2007 a new Vision, Mission and Goals were introduced for TVET. These apply and directly encompass Vocational Education.
The Vision TVET for a skilled an prosperous Fiji
The Mission To provide accessible TVET training for a skilled and competent workforce.
The Goals -
Increased number of students access quality TVET education
Quality partnerships and links with industry, higher education institutions and communities are strengthened
Increased employability of TVET Graduates
Increased Number of students continue to Tertiary Education
Greater relevance of Vocational Courses
Increased perception, awareness and value of Vocational Education
The Strategic direction for TVET with its associated key strategies and initiatives will provides the framework for TVET development. (Attached and the end of this report).
Key Priorities and Initiatives Ten key underpinning strategies have been identified through a thorough consultation process conducted in 2007. Most of the strategies apply directly to vocational education, but four key areas have been identified as a priority. Other important priorities and initiatives are highlighted below.
1. Department of TVET The key initiative in the TVET 5 year Strategic directions and budget is the set up of the proposed Department of TVET. This bold move actions the call from industries, business community, TVET institutions , Fiji Employers Federation, unions, resource owners, government ministries and TVET teachers and students at various TVET conferences and forums to set up implemented in the next 5-10 years, these initiatives have the potential to improve quality standards of facilities, equipment and delivery. The Ministry is envisaged to raise the recognition and status of TVET as the governments instrument for overseeing the process of “skilling Fiji” in a planned and systematic manner from primary, secondary through to tertiary utilising school industry and community partnerships. Key initiatives to support this include: • • • •
Department structure with budget TVET Advisory Board TVET Council Additional staffing for establishing 6 Units
2. Teachers The TVET section have proposed a number of initiatives and proposals that will assist all current and new TVET teachers both in Technical and Vocational areas to acquire the required skills and qualifications. The long term objective is that all teachers have ‘Mastery’ over there teaching areas, and are recognised by all as highly proficient masters of their disciplines. This will not happen over night and will come at a cost to all. Rather then the MoE being responsible for all costs, most proposals have shared these between the schools, teachers, MoE and other parties wherever possible.
One of the issues facing the MoE is to attract industry qualified persons. The current starting salary for Vocational teachers without any teaching qualification is the lowest level for any government profession. This is because all trade qualifications or industry experience is not recognised for salary classification. If the MoE would like to attract more qualified and skilled persons to teach in Vocational schools, it is acknowledged that a salary review and increase would be required. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) needs to be conducted including a comprehensive skills gap analysis to determine training requirements. Even without the TNA it is currently accepted that upskilling in certain areas is required and will be part of TVET’s long-term strategy.
3. Curriculum The present system to establish a vocational school/centre needs careful readdressing if it must avoid duplication, wastage of resources and mismatch between curriculum employment opportunities and economical development priorities of each district. It is hoped that with the implementation of the National Qualification Framework (NQF), the Fiji Vocational Certificates can be registered and recognised. This will allow articulation from the VC’s into the next level of the course at FIT or another tertiary institution. Franchising arrangements may not be required, which will possibly reduce the costs to students and provide funding for the Vocational centres to become better equipped. Review and Development of a new Vocational Certificate An in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of the Fiji Vocational Certificate has not been conducted. However evidence already exists to conclude that many of the current outcomes and results are not satisfactory. With the implementation of a National Qualification Framework in Fiji, it is essential that the Vocational Certificate provide students with a qualification that provides mobility, transferability and greater retention rates. Emphasis should focus on training ‘work-ready graduates’ for in-demand occupations. A proposed approach that moves away from supply driven and standardised time bound courses, to a more flexible and customised course driven by demand from industry should be developed, trialled and implemented. There is also a need for the diversification of the curriculum to take cognisance of Fiji’s natural resources such as forestry and fisheries. This will maximise the use of local resources for gainful employment. Outcomes or practical competencies need to be defined for each subject area and a system of monitoring and assessment drawn up so that the student comes to the end of a two year course with a check list of workplace competencies achieved rather than a test result. These competencies should be based on industry standards and practice. Other demand driven training should also be explored in vocational centres such as beverage and bar attendant skills, rather then just the traditional vocations.
4. Facilities. Discussions with MoE key stakeholders to look at future TVET strategies including the clustering of vocational centres to pool and share resources commenced in early 2007. Other means have also been identified, and this in itself is a strategy that TVET wishes to adopt in coming years; to fully utilise any funding provisions available whether new, old, or through collaboration and alignment of other ministry funding. It should also be noted that many vocational centres, not just the pilot schools, have found other funding support through industry linkages and this will hopefully become a basis for raising the level of vocational training across Fiji. Once strong industry partnerships are developed, they can assist in expansion and growth of Vocational schools. This could be through either donations of equipment, education enterprise, or providing training and work placement for teachers. Duplication of courses to nearby vocational centres is also a concern that would eventually reduce the number of student intake per school and cause duplication o A limited number of large Vocational Centres in strategic positions offering all vocational courses. o A larger number of specialised Vocational Centres offering two or three subject courses serving delineated areas, and avoiding overlap and competition. o Offering less traditional courses that are driven by developing markets and industry needs which don’t compete with other areas. These courses will offer an alternative pathway to the generic academic stream, but still support higher levels of academic achievement. 19
Quality Vocational Training Centres (QVTC) and Alternative pathways Equipping all the Vocational Centre in Fiji to industry standard would cost a horrendous amount. However, selecting Quality Vocational Centres (QVTC) at strategic locations to serve schools in industrial areas, highly populated districts or suburbs and government institutions would provide quality skill training opportunities to more students at an affordable cost. This would help greatly to raise current skill levels of the vocational graduates to an acceptable industry standard making them marketable both locally and overseas. The proposed training centres would house all the heavy machines and sophisticated equipment for the various skill training programmes and making them available for students from the various secondary schools vocational centres to come in once or twice a week to be trained using this equipment. These centres will also act as stand – alone centres for full time campus students. It must be noted that with such arrangement, more students will be exposed to high quality skill training, duplication of infrastructure, resources and manpower would be reduced and skill training would be related to local industry and community needs. Funding arrangements are still to be finalised but it is hoped that some of these QVTC’s become a reality in 2008.
Policy With around 130 vocational course/programmes being offered around Fiji, Many require constant monitoring and advice to ensure sustainability. With only a few Senior Education officers dedicated to Vocational Education, the procedures and guidelines outlined in the new Vocational Education Policy, once implemented and applied, will help to broadly address many issues facing vocational centres. A slowing of the growth of new centres is urgent in the light of important decisions on the proliferation and support that is necessary in vocational education. Clear operational and subsequent policy directions should drive the establishment of new centres. The policy for Establishment and Operation of Vocational schools/centres which has been developed and endorsed in 2007, will provide appropriate criteria for establishment of new centres and direction to clearly define there purpose and aim. It is a major development for Vocational education in the school system, and if effectively implemented and reviewed will provide a basis for improvement, quality and effectiveness of vocational centres across Fiji.
Other Initiatives Advocacy The promotion of TVET, its benefits to the community and examples of best practice need to be showcased to the community at large so that a realistic perception of TVET and its associated programmes can be appreciated. The advocacy program needs to promote Vocational Education as a viable career option. The program should include: • • • •
Promotion of skills training as a career path, not an alternative for academic failures; Promote VC’s to run parallel to academic studies to enable students to make a career choice; Raise students and communities perceptions of vocational training and trade qualifications; and Promote students pride in being vocational students by creating an identity in vocational training
An annual exposition is planned for TVET, particularly after the successful Expo that was held in 2007 which provided an opportunity for 32 schools to showcase there courses to the public throughout Fiji. Over 6,000 students, teachers and parents attended and the variety of enterprises was impressive, including bee keeping, aquaculture, automotive, carpentry, mobile lovo and hydroponics. The launching also gave TVET the opportunity to advocate its new Vision, Mission and Strategic Direction. This is one of several strategies for TVET in Fiji to inform parents and the community of the opportunities and options for different and viable pathways to employment for young people. Obtaining sponsorship, such as the funding provided by Fiji Electricity Authority for the 2007 expo, is in itself is a symbol of the opportunities for industry/employers and Government to promote TVET and bridge the gap between the education sector and the needs of the labour market. Improved Monitoring and Evaluation Monitoring and evaluation (‘advisor visits’) is conducted by SEO’s from the TVET section. These are scheduled as regularly as possible but schools, particularly rural schools, are often not visited for years. This is mainly due to lack of TVET staff. Monitoring and inspection of funded equipment should be a 20
requirement for all school visits by advisors even if the approach taken is on an informal level. This would assure appropriate use and maintenance of more expensive equipment. Work Attachment & Industry Compacts Work placement is one of the most valuable components of the vocational courses. It allows students to gain practical experience in the workplace through industrial attachments. Student surveys indicate that students really enjoy and value workplace experience. The majority of Vocational Centres facilitate work placement for the students. This is often a course requirement but not formally assessed or monitored by the school. Development of a structured workplace learning program will alleviate many of the concerns, particularly the outcomes of work placement. There also needs to be an investigation into who is responsible for the insurance cover for OHS of Vocational students when they are undertaking industrial attachments. There is disagreement between the schools and MoE as to who is liable. This problem is stopping students having Industrial attachments with large organizations and Government bodies. Industry compacts provide excellent opportunities for other activities to be undertaken. For example in 2007 the following activities were conducted during compact meetings: • standardisation of documents such as workplace guidelines, logbook • curriculum development • Discussions on engaging industry • Teacher training opportunities In future years these compacts will be used for: • • • •
Curriculum development Standardisation of examination and assessment materials Industry standards for course development and competency based assessment Creating partnerships with industry
Labour Market supply vs demand The labour market is growing steadily but this growth is insufficient to absorb entrants to the labour market which is estimated to be around 17,000 (including about 14,000 school leavers) each year (National Planning Office, 2004). The prospects of these young school leavers obtaining paid employment in the formal economic sector is limited and appears to be decreasing. In 2004, an estimated 4,000 new jobs were generated by the economy and an additional 5,000 vacancies were created as a result of out-migration and natural attrition in the labour force. Thus, jobs were available for only about half of those entering the labour market. With growth rates forecast to remain well below 3% in the next few years the ratio of jobs to job-seekers in Fiji will probably continue to decline and unemployment, particularly among youth, will increase. This reinforces the importance of linking Vocational courses to employment opportunities. The Fiji labour market also suffers a significant imbalance between the supply and the demand of labour. Strong labour market demand exists in several segments of the economy. There is an excess supply of labour market entrants with limited skills and experience who do not satisfy the significant demand for skilled personnel. To overcome the labour demand, expatriates have been employed to provide the necessary expertise in middle level positions. 2 Mechanisms need to be developed to align TVET courses and labour market needs, these could include: • Research in local industries to identify employment opportunities. • Continuation of Tracer studies to evaluate vocational course employment outcomes. • Alignment of courses with migration and work permit allocations. • Co-ordination of TVET programs with other providers to supplement each others training rather then compete. A report conducted in 2007 is attached (Appendix B) - ‘Data Analysis of Employment opportunities for Vocational Centres across Fiji’, which provides statistics and potential sectors for consideration.
Technical-Vocational Skills Development In Fiji, ADB, 2006 21
Appendix A Vocational Schools in FIJI Total DISTRICT
School Type Total
Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Central Eastern Eastern Eastern Eastern Eastern Eastern Eastern Eastern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Northern Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western Western
Nausori Nausori Nausori Nausori Nausori Nausori Navua Serua Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Suva Tailevu Tailevu Gau Kabara Kabara Koro Lakeba Moala Kadavu Vanuabalavu Bua Bua Cakaudrove Cakaudrove Macuata Macuata Macuata Macuata Macuata Macuata Macuata Macuata Ba Ba Ba Ba Lautoka Lautoka Lautoka Lautoka Nadi Nadi Nadi Nadi Nadi Nadi Nadi Nadroga Nadroga Nadroga Navosa Ra Ra Ra Sigatoka Tavua Tavua Tavua
Lomaivuna Secondary School Naitasiri Sec Naiyala High Rewa Secondary School Sila Central Vunimono High Vashist Muni College Ratu Latiniara Secondary Ballantine Memorial School Bhawani Dayal Champagnat Special School Hilton Special School Lami High Nabua Secondary Rishikul Sanatan College Suva Muslim College Suva Special School Suva Vocational School Ratu Kadavulevu School Tailevu North College Gau Secondary school Kabara District School Richmond Methodist High School Koro High Ratu Mara College Yasayasa Moala Kadavu Provincial Secondary Adi Maopa Secondary Bua Central College Lekutu Secondary Bucalevu Secondary Niusawa Methodist High School Dreketi High Labasa Arya Secondary Labasa College Labasa Muslim School Nabala Secondary Naleba College Valebasoga Secondary Vunimoli High School Ba Methodist High DAV College Khalsa College Nukuloa College Drasa Secondary Jasper Williams Secondary Natabua High School Vishnu Deo College Korovuto Secondary Mulomulo Secondary Nadi College Nadi Muslim College Nawaicoba Vococational Centre Ratu Navula Secondary Votualevu High Lomawai Secondary Nadroga Arya College Nawai Secondary Navosa Central College Nakauvadra High School Penang Sangam High Ra Provincial High School Sigatoka Andhra Sangam College Balata High Nadarivatu High school Tavua College
Total No# Schools
66 Total No# of Programmes
Rural Rural Rural Rural Semi Rural Semi Rural Semi Rural Rural Semi Rural Semi Rural Urban Urban Urban Semi Rural Semi Rural Urban Urban Urban Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Semi Rural Urban Urban Rural Rural Rural Rural Semi Rural Urban Semi Rural Rural Rural Urban Urban Rural Rural Rural Urban Urban Rural Semi Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Semi Rural Semi Rural Rural Rural Rural Rural Urban
5 12 14 22 103 53 53 29 16 26 33 11 32 60 55 20 91 91 92 110 17 8 11 13 71 9 9 25 12 9 40 9 32 74 15 58 39 60 41 25 11 73 12 27 83 40 15 16 33 41 127 9 76 230 23 174 24 15 20 72 32 31 56 34 20 64
1 12 14 6 69 22 33 29 0 26 23 6 31 52 55 20 3 3 92 67
4 0 0 16 34 31 20 0 16 0 10 5 1 8 0 0 88 88 0 43
9 8 11 13 52 9 9 24
8 0 0 0 19 0 0 1
12 9 25 9 18 35 0 0 12 48 41 12
0 0 15 0 14 39 15 58 27 12 0 13
0 73 1 27 68 40 1 16 19 25 79 0 56 152 23 111 10 15 3 43 32 26 56 34 17 32
11 0 11 0 15 0 14 0 14 16 48 9 20 78 0 63 14 0 17 29 0 5 0 0 3 32
29 Number of Centres Average No# Students 30.7 Total
Northern 12 Eastern 8
DISCIPLINE Auto Welding Carpentry & Catering & or Office Agriculture Engineering Fabrication Joinery Tailoring Technology Total M F Total M F Total M F Total M F Total M F Total M F 5 1 4 12 12 14 14 6 16 22 36 35 1 30 30 22 3 19 15 1 14 53 22 31 13 13 13 13 20 5 15 7 2 5 20 20 9 9 10 10 6 6 26 26 14 14 10 10 9 9 6 6 5 5 0 15 14 1 17 17 24 24 27 27 9 1 8 30 30 25 25 0 20 20 91 3 88 91 3 88 37 37 26 26 25 25 4 4 32 30 2 28 28 24 24 18 1 17 8 8 9 9 8 8 8 8 6 6 5 5 13 13 29 26 3 19 19 15 2 13 6 3 3 2 2 9 9 9 9 25 24 1 12 12 9 9 25 25 15 15 9 9 10 6 4 11 1 10 11 11 37 33 4 37 2 35 15 15 39 39 19 19 11 11 28 1 27 45 45 6 6 9 3 6 41 41 12 12 13 13 8 8 3 3 38 38 35 35 0 12 1 11 27 27 48 48 35 20 15 40 40 15 1 14 16 16 6 6 27 13 14 14 14 27 11 16 36 36 80 37 43 11 6 5 9 9 26 26 18 18 32 12 20 43 42 1 33 33 154 77 77 23 23 49 46 3 16 16 109 49 60 8 8 16 2 14 15 15 20 3 17 15 15 20 20 19 19 11 1 10 7 7 32 32 26 26 5 5 56 56 34 34 20 17 3 16 16 8 8 40 8 32
2863 1879 984 66% 34%
Auto Welding Carpentry & Catering & or Engineering Fabrication Joinery Tailoring Total M F Total M F Total M F Total M F
596 8 1084 327 757
Office Technology Total M F 170
Agriculture Total M F 73
Appendix B Data Analysis of Employment opportunities for Vocational Centres across Fiji Social-Economic Background Fiji’s population, of about 850,000 people in 2005 has been growing at a rate of about 0.8%. This low figure is mainly due to substantial emigration. The economy has been growing at around 1.5% - 2.5% a year. The economy is dominated by sugarcane, which employs a quarter of the workforce and tourism which is about 10% of the workforce. The declines in sugar and garment exports have worsened the imbalance in merchandise trade. Earnings from tourism sector and remittances from increasing number of Fijians working overseas have become the two most important foreign exchange earners. The need for more hotels to cater to tourism has contributed to a significant rise in construction workers over the past few years.
With steady increases in visitor arrivals, aided by declining regional airfares and the entry of budget carriers, the tourism sector offers the greatest opportunity for further growth. Fiji’s natural beauty and pristine environment provides the scope for sustained high growth if appropriate regulation and enforcement are in place. To a lesser extent, information technology based services and audio-visual industries offer growth opportunities. The forestry sector also is likely to enjoy higher growth as the country’s maturing mahogany plantations become ready for harvest in coming years. Fisheries will remain one of the key sectors of the economy. However, the country needs to respond effectively to regional and global developments in these sectors, particularly by promoting sustained private sector participation.
Textile and sugar exports face output declines due to the gradual reduction in preferential prices and access to the main markets. For many years, Fiji benefited from preferential quota access to two highprice markets––the US garment market and the EU sugar market. After Fiji lost its garments quota for the US market at the beginning of 2005, a significant number of garment manufacturers closed and shifted to countries with cheaper labor, leaving 6,000 unemployed. As the industry continues to contract, further job losses are expected. Similarly, the sugar sector has relied on a subsidy from the EU, which will gradually shrink by 39% over 4 years starting in 2006 in compliance with international commitments under the World Trade Organization. Despite efforts to improve sector efficiency, many farming households will be displaced and will need to identify alternative livelihood sources. The cost of labor in Fiji cannot compete with low-cost production locations. In addition to the 6,000 sugarcane farmers who have already left the industry, some 154,000 are expected to exit in the next 2–3 years. The expiration of land leases of tenant farmers that are not being renewed is compounding the problems in the sector. The garment industry provided employment predominantly for women. The contraction of the sugar industry will affect thousands of ancillary workers––cane cutters, those transporting the cane to the mills, mill workers, and their families.
In light of the significant structural adjustments required in the textile and sugar industries, the immediate challenge is to generate growth that creates jobs in the coming years. In 2005 and 2006, the economy is forecast to grow 1.7% and 2.0%, respectively, driven by construction, wholesale and retail trade, and hotel and restaurant sectors. Growth is forecast to rise above 2.0% in 2007 and 2008.2 However, these low levels of growth will be insufficient to generate the employment and incomes necessary to substantially reduce poverty and improve economic welfare.
Supply and demand comparison Each year over 17,000 new entrants join the labour market in Fiji. About 4,000 of these are graduates of tertiary level technical and academic institutions, including the University of the South Pacific (USP). An additional 2,400 are laid-off workers seeking new jobs while an estimated 800 are adults who either never attended school or who delayed entering the job market because of domestic commitments i.e. mostly 23
women. The remainder, approximately 10,000, are mainly secondary school leavers who – for either financial or scholastic reasons – are unable to continue their education. The prospects of these young school leavers obtaining paid employment in the formal economic sector is limited and appears to be decreasing. In 2004, an estimated 4,000 new jobs were generated by the economy and an additional 5,000 vacancies were created as a result of out-migration and natural attrition in the labour force. Thus, jobs were available for only about half of those entering the labour market. With growth rates forecast to remain well below 3% in the next few years the ratio of jobs to job-seekers in Fiji will probably continue to decline and unemployment, particularly among youth, will increase. Recent figures indicate that unemployment in the age-group 15-24 is twice Fiji’s national average, estimated at 7%. 3 Table 1: Labour Supply and Demand in Fiji 2002-2007 Labour Supply and Demand
Employment Opportunities (formal sector)
Employment Requirements (informal sector)
Average Annual 2002-2007 2002
Never attended school
Replacements for emigrants
Replacements for attrition
New Jobs Created (@2.6% GDP per annum)
Source: Fiji Ministry of Education
The Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Suva 24
Table 2: Gross Domestic Product By Activity at Constant Prices at Factor Cost (F$000) - 2003/2005
Average % change
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Subsistence
Mining & Quarrying
Electricity & Water
Wholesale & Retail Trade, Hotels and Restaurants
Transport & Communication
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, & Business Services
Community, social & personnel services
Source: Key Statistics June 2006 (p.11), by Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, 2006. Suva, Fiji:
Skills shortage areas Other sectors in the economy either because of their smaller scale or limited growth do not face significant skill shortages as is the case with construction and tourism. Nonetheless, the migration factor is also resulting in increased vacancies in many jobs. The March 2006 Reserve Bank of Fiji survey of advertisements showed an annual 18% rise in the number of vacant positions mostly in the finance, insurance, real estate and business sections. Other technician shortages identified are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and automotive engineering supervisors 4 . Other skilled worker shortages identified are air conditioning and refrigeration tradespersons and automotive mechanics (Voigt-Graf 2006).
Construction A significant increase in construction activity has taken place in the past few years fuelled by the need for more hotels to cater for tourism. There was a 70% increase in construction activity in 2005 over 2004 levels. However, growth is expected to be about 2% in 2006 (Reserve Bank 2006). One major construction company reported a reduction in the number of projects coming with the expectation of reduced activity. Skill shortages are primarily occurring in the construction sector for three key reasons. First, there has been a substantial increase in construction activity since 2002 which has resulted in increased demand for skilled workers possibly equal to or exceeding the supply of TVET graduates. Second, existing skilled workers have been lured overseas because of a demand for skilled construction workers in other countries. Third, the construction industry is largely looking for experienced and highly skilled labour which cannot be achieved by the TVET sector alone. 5 The creation of a highly skilled employee cannot be achieved without the industry playing a major role in training on the job. There has been a lack of apprenticeships or other forms of associated workplace learning in the construction industry Interviewees indicated that the construction industry lacked sufficient numbers of carpenters, plumbers and electricians. In addition, the standards demanded for tourist hotel construction in finishing skills such as painting, tiling and plastering were much higher than the capability of local workers. Moreover the Fiji Hotel Association is also concerned about the gap between what is needed for high quality finishing and the current 4 5
Workforce Planning & Scholarship Unit (2006). Unpublished list of scholarships. Work Permit Data, 2006 â€“ (attached below) 25
skills of plumbers and electricians. Gaps in training indicated that the needs of particular sectors had not been adequately addressed by the TVET system.
Tourism Tourism has become the most important foreign exchange earner with the decline of the sugar industry. It represents 12.8% of GDP and employs 9.5% of the workforce (Allcock 2006). It also has substantial multiplier effects especially in creating an expansion of construction activity in building new hotels. It creates a market for local manufactured products and handicrafts. Sales to hotels and restaurants were about 22% of total sales of a survey sample of Fijian furniture makers (Luzius 2004). It has also created a market for the supply of agricultural products which has yet to be fully realised. Tourism activity is still expanding in Fiji with the potential to provide substantial employment opportunities because of its labour intensive nature. Total visitor arrivals in 2002 were 397,839 (of whom 306,304 arrived for holiday reasons). Estimates of total visitors for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 are respectively 550,000, 576,000, 610,000 and 658,000 (Reserve Bank 2006). Table 4 below provides data on the increasing demand for hotel accommodation from different countries. Table 4: Guest Nights by Country of origin Year
Source: Key Statistics June 2006 (p.11), Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, 2006. Suva Fiji
A gradual cut in preferential prices for sugar is likely to make sugarcane less attractive as an export crop. There is a need to explore diversification in agricultural activity. Supply of food to the tourism industry has important potential. The need also for Ministry of Education to link with delivery of programs with Ministry of Agriculture will minimise duplication.
Alternative delivery areas There is a need to explore diversification in agriculture to include areas such as:-
Hydroponics to supply of food for tourism industry such as lettuce, tomato. Research into other potential markets suitable for tourism such as papaya, ginger, tapioca, cassava, and coconuts.
Fishing in 2005 constituted about 10% of all exports (FIBOS 2006). While there is further potential for greater gains from industry, sustainability limits significant expansion. Aquaculture offers new possibilities in prawn, crab, clams. Opportunities for farming seaweed and pearls also require research. Potential economic returns can arise from an expansion in furniture making using timber from Fijian forests. A number of companies are already exporting furniture products to Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Middle East earning an export income of around F$ 11.5 million (Luzius 2004). The expansion in the industry has resulted in Fiji shifting from being a net importer to a net exporter of furniture. Overall production from 2000 to 2005 has increased 32% (FIBOS 2006). On the other hand, over the same period, there were declines respectively for other timber products such as sawmilling and veneer products of 47% and 11% respectively (FIBOS 2006). The industry employs in excess of 1,300 full time employees. While there is strong competition from countries such as China and Vietnam especially in terms of labour cost, the industry has some advantages in terms of its access to timber in general as well as speciality woods and the ability to differentiate its products. 26
Just as there is an expansion of Fiji’s furniture industry using its own timber resources, there is also potential to significantly expand the manufacture of processed food using Fijian grown produce. Fiji already produces a range of food products. In 2004, GDP at current prices for beverages and tobacco was F$ 115 million and displayed growth with a percentage change from 2004/2006 at constant prices of 28.6%. Other food products added F$ 50 million but with a percentage growth of minus 3.2%. Exported coconut oil earned Fiji F$3.5 million in 2005. Exported tobacco and beverages products earned Fiji F$87.4 million which included F$68 million earned from mineral water.
Conclusion Analysis of Work permits and labour market surveys indicate potential growth areas that have been identified include the following. •
• • • •
Tourism o Catering o Housekeeping o Food and Beverage o Retail Trade o Tour Co-ordinators o Managers o Accounts personnel Information Technology Service Industry - Business o Finance o Insurance o Real estate Audio-visual industries Construction o Carpenters o Plumbers o Electricians o Quality painters o Quality tilers o Quality plasters Automotive o Engineering supervisors o Mechanics Air conditioning & refrigeration Forestry o Milling o Furniture Making Fisheries o Fishing crew o Aquaculture – prawns, crab, clams, oysters o Research into other farming areas – seaweed, pearls Agriculture o Potential for Hydroponics to service tourism industry
Markets and areas that have been declining and possible will not offer as good employment opportunities in future years include the following: • • •
Agriculture o Sugar Textile o Garment manufacturers/Tailoring Mining and Quarrying
35 16 8 2 8 9 5 10 6 8 2 1 3
6 4 4
29 12 22 24
4 17 1 1 1
8 6 11
4 32 18
4 4 1 6 2
9 3 4 2
1 14 1
10 4 1
2 1 1
5 6 3 11 3 3 7 9 2 1
3 2 4
1 1 1 1
1 1 1 1 1 2 2
1 1 4 1 1
2 1 2 2
3 1 1
1 3 1
2 1 1
Tota l % of
22 1 2 2
45 3 20 5
1 3 264
20 6 5
4 1 2
d Ki n
an Thai land
13 3 13
18 9 10 1
1 2 1
Phili pine s Si n g apor e Sout h Am erica Sout h Ko rea Sri L anka
3 3 9
60 45 28
eala nd Othe rs
esia Indo n
g Ko ng Hon
Can ada Chin a
Bang lade s
Investor/Director Other Manager Work Other Fishing Crew Lecturer Engineer Missionary Supervisor Teacher Financial Controller Construction Manager Pilot Hotel Manager Accountant Analyst Programmer Tour Co-Ordinator Chef Scuba Diver/Instructor Bank Manager Machinist/Tech Garment Quality Controller Barrister/Solicitor Cook Shop Manager Garment Manager
Work Permits for Fiji Annual Report 2006
296 25.3% 204 17.4% 191 16.3% 62 5.3% 61 5.2% 56 4.8% 53 4.5% 38 3.2% 30 2.6% 29 2.5% 29 2.5% 22 1.9% 17 1.5% 13 1.1% 12 1.0% 12 1.0% 11 0.9% 8 0.7% 7 0.6% 6 0.5% 4 0.3% 4 0.3% 3 0.3% 3 0.3% 1 0.1%
43 100 1172
References Asian Development Bank (2006). Republic of the Fiji Islands: Country Gender Assessment. Manila, Asian Development Bank (2006). Technical-Vocational Skills Development in Republic of the Fiji Islands. Asian Development Bank. (2006) Country Strategy and Program Update Fiji Islands (2006â€“ 2008), Manila Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics (2006), Key Statistics, Suva, Fiji: Bureau of Statistics National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprises Development. (2003) Strategic Plan 200-2012 Creating Livelihoods through SME Development, Suva National Planning Office (2006), Strategic development plan 2007-20011. Mid-term review. Suva, Fiji :National Planning Office National Planning Office (2006), Fiji computerised human resource information system retrieved 27/02/2007 on www.fijichris.gov.fj Voigt-Graf, C (2006) Analysis of skilled employment demand and opportunities in the Pacific Labour Market Working paper University of the South Pacific Working Paper retrieved 27/02/2007
Strategic Direction of TVET 2009-2011 The Vision Championing skills training for sustainable development in Fiji
Ministry of Education
The Mission To provide accessible TVET training for a skilled and competent workforce.
Twelve key underpinning strategies
1. Strengthening the capability, effectiveness and overarching authority of TVET through the establishment of the Department of TVET
Increased number of students access quality TVET education
Increased employability of TVET Graduates
Increased Number of students continue to Tertiary Education
Quality partnerships and links with industry, higher education institutions and communities are strengthened
Greater relevance of Vocational Courses
Increased perception, awareness and value of Vocational Education
2. Continual Review and development of TVET Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
8. Establishment of TVET Quality Assurance Mechanisms to ensure high standard of delivery and outcomes.
3. Development of TVET Curriculum which is relevant, flexible, progressive and responsive to emerging needs.
9. Promotion, Advocacy and Awareness of TVET through Publicity, Awards, Scholarships and Expositions
4. Management of skilled, competent and qualified TVET Teachers
10. Links and collaboration with regional and international TVET forums and country specific initiatives
5. Strengthening of TVET Centres through improving equipment and infrastructure to meet industry standards
11. Strengthening of TVET in Rural and Semi-urban areas
6. Industry and Community Networking and Partnership for Collaborative Learning and Training for Excellence in TVET
12. Integrate Modern Technology into TVET delivery
7. Establishment of TVET funding and resource
2007 Update on Vocational Education & Training in Fiji