The National Employment Centre (NEC) at the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations continues to focus its efforts in assisting the unemployed.

The NEC has begun Phase I of employment creation training for the unemployed who have registered with the NEC from 2010 to July 2013, and have not undergone any training.

The sessions are being undertaken in all the divisions of the country. Registered clients in the Western Division will complete their one week assessments today while the Northern division assessments will commence on Monday 29th and end on 2nd August, and in the Central Eastern division this will take place from 5th to 16th August, 2013.

The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Mr Jone Usamate highlighted that due to budget constrains last year, the Centre was not able to conduct any trainings. This means that the centre is rolling all the 4 training phases of the employment creation process consecutively for all clients registered from 2010 till July 2013.

He encouraged clients registered with the centre to contact the various NEC offices about this important development. He urged NEC clients to contact the Ministry so that they do not miss out on the sessions.

Clients will firstly undergo the Counselling sessions and Aptitude Assessment before undertaking the 1 week Life Skills Training and 8 weeks Employment Skills training.

Since its inception, the NEC has been able to provide professional counselling services to 16,333 clients and also provided Aptitude Assessment of 16,144 clients. More than 1,800 clients have been absorbed into permanent employment while 2,440 have undergone work attachments, with 386 clients engaged in volunteer service through the Fiji Volunteer Service

Mr Usamate expressed his gratitude to the NEC training providers who have partnered with the Centre to provide quality training to the NEC clients. The NEC has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the National Training & Productivity Centre for the provision of aptitude assessment, and has also renewed its partnership agreement with the Kuruleca Consultants for counselling services.

Minister Usamate stated that his Ministry was in the process of exploring further ways in which the unemployed could be assisted, and that significant progress was also being achieved through the activities of other Government agencies such as the Ministry of Youth and the Ministry of Women.