Gizo Youth@Work stages first intern graduation
OVER 100 interns graduated from the Gizo Youth@Work programme on Friday, in Western Province.
The Phase 1 and 2 interns, including the YEC who began the programme in March this year, celebrated their achievement at an official graduation ceremony at the PT109 restaurant.
Gizo Youth@Work Provincial Coordinator, Hika Gonne addressed the graduates saying they were the best to go through the programme around Gizo for the first time since Youth@ Work Gizo was established last year.
“Many youths have been motivated, courageous and hard working and are changing the way in the community, Province and country.
“I’m so proud of you to mark this graduation and witness your entire hardworking have all paid off,” said Hika.
Hika extends his gratitude to all the stakeholders who worked close with youths to address an age-old problem of youth unemployment in Western Province.
Guest of honour Deputy Premier Hon Maloney Lopoto said, “It marks and signifies the hard work and achievement to witness this graduation ceremony.
“There has been a great challenge starting from the family level to the government level.
“Youth employment is a critical development and a policy challenge facing most countries in the pacific region including Solomon Islands.”
He explained that the national level youth unemployment rates range from 3.2 to 63.7 percent.
He added that the small size of Solomon Islands’ economy limits employment opportunities, slow economical growth and the large youth population contributes to the complexity and significance of youth employment changes in Solomon Islands and the Pacific.
He encourages the graduates to look forward and aim high with their certificates received from the Youth@work programme.
Hon Lopoto thanked the provincial Youth@Work programme implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, supported by the Australian Government in partnership with Queens Young Leaders Awards, Plan International, as well as the Solomon Islands Ministry of National Unity, Peace and Reconciliation, the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism; and the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.