BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
The negative perception that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is a second choice compared with the conventional academic field should be eliminated by parents and youths in order for the country to produce a more skilled workforce.
With the Country’s population comprising 70 percent of youth, there has been a perception that TVET is a second-choice education among young people. It has been observed that youth participation in TVET is considerably low due to this perception.
Director for TVET at Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Mr Solomon Pita said every nation needs people to build it, and nation builders are those people who have skills, and most of the skills that are needed to build the nation fall under the TVET training sectors.
Pita explained that Solomon Islands has come a long way in its journey as a nation but still struggles to develop the country to build the nation. Some industries have to recruit people overseas to work in order to help build the nation—a very good example of why TVET education is very important.
“We need TVET education to build this nation. Every developed nation has a very good TVET training program in their country that help them train and produce people who can build the nation and work in the different industries that require the skills to build the nation,” he said.
“We need to develop TVET in order to help the government develop this nation, and not only build the nation but give the opportunity to people who will not go and take the higher education pathway but choose to take TVET and not regard it as a second-choice education.
“Young people should regard it as a choice for life. They should be helped to realize that when they choose TVET training, they are not second best but they are the best and the best related to what they can do with the skills they gain when they attain training and when they are employed or when they create their own business to make a living and also to give opportunities to others.”
Pita encourages the Government sectors, private institutions, private sectors, donor partners, and families to continue promoting TVET sector in the country so young people can recognize the importance of TVET as a key driving force of economic growth and social development in today’s world.
Solomon Islands National Youth Congress is the legitimate youth body that represents the voice of young people across the Solomon Islands.
One of its key functions is to represent the interests, views, and aspirations of young men and women, to the government and other stakeholders including donor and development partners.
Vicechair for Solomon Islands National Youth Congress and President for Honiara Youth Council, Mr. Harry James Olikwailafa said National Youth Congress has been working with TVET institutions to clear the TVET perception among young people.
He said their collaboration with the Australia Pacific Training Coalition to host a virtual youth skills hub dialogue recently offered a great opportunity for young people to have meaningful conservation on TVET skill training and employment opportunities.
Currently, there are 68 Rural Training Centres spread through the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands.
These RTCs are active members of the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational Rural Training Centres (SIAVRTC).