Permanent Secretary for Fiji’s Civil Service Bernadette Welsh delivering her speech.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) opened its Workforce Development Training Unit in Walu Bay, Suva on 27 May 2016.
While officiating at the opening ceremony, Permanent Secretary for Fiji’s Civil Service Bernadette Welsh commended the establishment of the Unit.
“This initiative by the premier University of our region in setting up a Unit that is dedicated to meeting the upskilling needs of the broad workforce is testament to its responsiveness to its member countries,” Ms Welsh stated.
She said maximising the potential of our workforce is the shared goal of every leader and manager in Fiji whether they are in Government, civil society or the private sector.
“An organisation’s success is achieved through its people therefore effective human resource management and development is critical,” she added.
From L-R: USP’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Learning & Teaching Professor Richard Coll, Fiji’s Civil Service Permanent Secretary Bernadette Welsh, Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra and Pacific TAFE director Hasmukh Lal.
“I am very keen for us to explore the ways in which the civil service broadly can utilise what is being offered by this facility and I think the timing for the civil service while it is going through such exciting change, and for the rest of Fiji, as it becomes the central hub in the Pacific, could not be better,” Ms Welsh further highlighted.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra said the starting point of workforce development is high quality human resources that are able to compete in an open and knowledge-dominated world system.
“High quality, committed and change-oriented human resources are key to meeting the aspirations for sustainable development and for being able to compete in an open, very competitive and knowledge-dominated world system,” Professor Chandra said.
“If Fiji is to be able to compete and if we are going to be able to peg ourselves at a point in that system that allows Fijians to earn enough and to have dignity in the international division of labour, then we must have highly qualified, change-oriented, very knowledgeable and agile workforce,” he stated.
Professor Chandra said this is a challenge ahead for Fiji and the rest of the Pacific and USP is committed to playing its role in meeting the challenge not only in Fiji but for the rest of the Pacific island countries.
“The establishment of this dedicated unit is testimony to our expansion in this area and our willingness to support our member countries in a key area of demand. We bring to this field the advantage of new kinds of learning and a strong commitment to quality,” Professor Chandra said.
According to Professor Chandra, Pacific TAFE is now well recognised and is a strategically transformed and integrated learning and teaching section of USP.
“It is committed to working very actively in the area of business, tourism and hospitality, education and humanities, and technology and environment and provides both pathways into further studies as well as employment opportunities at different levels,” Professor Chandra added.
This year, the Workforce Development Unit will offer over 250 short courses in various disciplines including certification in IT, procurement and supply, and in-house training and classes for senior executives.
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