TVET a key driver of economic transformation – Honourable Premila Kumar

Press Release Posted On: December 22, 2021

Education Minister Hon Premila Kumar and FNU Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May at the TVET Pasifika launch in Labasa.


Investing in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is investing in national socio-economic development, says Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Honourable Premila Kumar.

The Honourable Kumar made these comments at the Fiji National University’s (FNU), industry launch of its TVET Pasifika brand at its Labasa Campus on Friday.

“TVET education is one of the key drivers that can support the economic transformation which Fiji needs,” Hon Kumar said. “TVET holds the key to technological progress, rapid industrialisation, wealth creation and poverty reduction,” said Minister Kumar.

“The growth of the TVET sector is crucial for the country. It will significantly expand the human capital base of Fiji. There will be less reliance on specialist labour from foreign countries and will reduce unemployment and provide the much-needed impetus to the MSME (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises).”

FNU’s TVET Pasifika launch to its Labasa stakeholders mirrored similar events at its Suva and Nadi campuses last month.

TVET Pasifika brings together the full range of FNU’s TVET courses of its constituent units – its five academic colleges, the National Training and Productivity Centre, and the Fiji Maritime Academy.

FNU Vice-Chancellor Professor Toby Wilkinson said TVET Pasifika embodied the University’s ethos of working closely with industry to provide education for employability.

“From short courses and trade diplomas to certificates and apprenticeships, TVET enables young people and those already in work to develop the skills, experience and competencies demanded by employers in a fast-changing global economy,” Prof Wilkinson said.

“TVET also enables individuals to acquire the outlook and motivation to become life-long learners, re-skilling and up-skilling to meet new challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, throughout their working lives.”

Prof Wilkinson also highlighted the Fijian Government’s initiatives available to current and prospective FNU students.

“The first is the announcement of 5000 new funded places for TVET courses at FNU through the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS). The second is an allocation of $1 million through the Re-skilling Fund to enable FNU to re-skill individuals who have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic,” he said.

Fiji Sugar Cooperation (FSC) Labasa Mill chief engineer Vinesh Prasad also highlighted the importance of FNU’s TVET courses and graduates to the organisation.

“I’m proud to say that FSC is one of the largest employers in Fiji of skilled workers,” Prasad said.

“All these skilled workers have trade certificates or some sort of vocational training which was provided or facilitated by FNU.”

“In other words, FSC relies heavily on FNU in terms of upskilling and human resources development. It is known that trained graduates from FNU are also highly marketable.”

Reskilling and Upskilling

To qualify for the free Reskilling and Upskilling placement at FNU, prospective students will have to submit a Statutory Declaration of unemployability due to COVID-19, a valid photo ID, TIN details along with their birth certificate.

All applications are to be submitted by today, 22 December 2021. Visit this link to complete the form:

The first round of short courses will be offered in January 2022.

TVET 5,000 placements

Students completing or have completed Year 12 or 13 can also undergo studies in a TVET course at FNU through the 5,000 Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS) placements.

Offered through the University’s TVET Pasifika, these courses are Certificate III, Certificate IV and Trade Diploma level qualifications. Students eligible for TSLS-funded studies must have successfully completed Year 12 with a minimum mark of 200/400 or completed Level 1 and II studies from the Technical College of Fiji.

Prospective students can choose from a wide range of TVET courses offered by the University in various fields of study, including Engineering, Medical, Tourism and Hospitality, Entrepreneurship, Fashion and Design, Cooking and Patisserie, Carpentry, Construction, Graphic Arts and Design, Film and Television Production, Hairdressing, Automotive, Electrical and Electronics.

For more information regarding our TVET Pasifika programmes, the 5000 available TSLS placements and the FNU and TSLS application process, visit our website at or contact our outreach team via email at