Ready for Work training programme in the Pacific: An inspiring success story of resilience and empowerment

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Ready for Work (RfW) is a programme aimed at developing the employability skills of youth in Vanuatu. This program, designed for youth aged 18-35 years, helps them gain the necessary skills and experience for fruitful employment.

In partnership with Youth Challenge Vanuatu (YCV), the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) offered eight weeks of extensive training for 50 youths on computer and other job-related skills. This was followed by a four-week internship, which ended in December 2023. Under the Pacific Partnership Project, one of the areas of work is supporting youth employment through training in partnership with NGOs. One of the challenges in the Pacific region is that of high youth unemployment, with many school dropouts. This project aims to address these challenges and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand (MFAT).

Among the 50 participants, 14 have secured short and/or long-term employment. Of note, immediate employment is rare in the region as many are actively seeking employment.

The RfW program was offered as part of the Partnership for Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL) in the Pacific Project, supported by MFAT.

One success story from the programme is Micky Mael – a 20-year-old from Ambrym Island, living in the Melemaat Community. He had dropped out of school and was looking for an opportunity to support his family. After he heard about the RfW program, he enrolled with the hope of finding employment and had this to say:

“The RfW program equipped me with various skills, such as computer, communication, employability and leadership skills. The internship placement also boosted my confidence and enabled me to interact and network with employers in senior positions. I am thankful for this opportunity, which I never thought I would have.”

After completing his internship, he explained that he was able to sign a contract with YCV. “My advice to young people who are not able to continue their formal education is that no matter what situation or experience you encounter in the past or present, it is not the end. Never give up!”

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