Fiji Airways: National Airline And National University Sign MoU
Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, and Fiji National University (FNU) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the objective to establish a collaborative effort between the two organisations by providing certain selected students with practical work experience.
Valid for a period of three years, the MOU is Fiji Airways’ contribution to support the youth of Fiji in gaining valuable knowledge and skills in a workplace environment, and in the long run, aid in lowering unemployment levels in the country.
These candidates will benefit from on the job training, practical knowledge, and mentorship with Fiji Airways in a range of areas covering Airport Operations, Head Office, Front Office, and Back Office Operations.
This professional experience and gained competencies will prove highly useful and relevant to the candidates’ future careers, which could include Fiji Airways should the opportunity arise.
Fiji Airways Managing Director and CEO, Andre Viljoen said, “We’re very pleased to enter into this partnership with Fiji National University. As the National Airline, we endeavour to do our part to help the youth of Fiji gain valuable work experience that will substantially help them in their careers later. The long term goal is that collaborations like this will help reduce national unemployment levels by making youth more employable by gaining skills that are cross-functional and multi-faceted.”
Fiji National University Vice Chancellor Dr. Nigel Healey said:
“FNU is a proudly vocational university, we have roots dating back to 1985 with Suva Medical School. We have a very clear focus on preparing students for work, and preparing them specifically for the work, the careers that are here in Fiji. And to do that successfully, we need to work very closely with employers, both in terms of when we design the programmes so that the programmes are meeting the needs of employers when graduates join them; but also finding opportunities for our students to get work experience while they’re studying. This is a really important next step in that journey to find a wide range of very high quality internships that gives students the practical skills they need to succeed when they graduate. We are particularly pleased to be signing this agreement with Fiji Airways because it’s quite an iconic brand. Having observed and worked with Fiji Airways for quite some time, this is an organisation that is going somewhere and knows where it’s going. It is building a very powerful brand in a very contested market. It’s an opportunity for us as a university to start building a relationship with one of Fiji’s most important employers.”
Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate commented on the partnership:
“I’m very glad to see the Fiji National University has signed up with Fiji Airways to give our graduates the opportunity to get a taste of what it means to do work in an industrial setting, in a real workplace. In the world now, we’re having problems with youth unemployment. There’s also the added problem that we are finding globally between what the institutions teach and what the employers’ expectations are. So it’s great to have a programme like this where those who are about to graduate have the opportunity to work in a company that allows them to touch up the areas where there may be some shortcomings, and also give them added competencies and the ability to be able to work in a real life setting. I congratulate both parties on the fine job they are doing. This is something that the government has been trying to do, not just with individual institutions but with the National Employment Centre.”
Fiji Airways will also look at exploring further collaborations with other tertiary education providers.
Implementation of the activities within the MOU commences today.