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6.5 TRAINING IN ESSENTIAL SKILLS

6.5.1 Coordination of Training

An aim of the Education Sector Action Plan was coordination of human resource policy and planning across all sectors. Since 1995, coordination of human resource activities has been facilitated by the Public Service Commission with many programs involving inter-ministry cooperation and coordination with non-government organisations. The Cook Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations has coordinated training especially amongst NGOs since 1994.

6.5.1.1 The Public Service Commission

The objective of the Public Service Commission (PSC) training programme is to improve people’s choices through training that is vocationally aligned. Training courses are mainly non-formal and conform to the National Human Resources Policy Framework and to Government’s Strategic Results Areas. Important factors in course selection include gender balance, cost sharing and the use of local trainers and training facilities. Some programs have emanated from community requests and from an outer islands training needs analysis. The average annual budget of about $NZ 100, 000 is funded by NZODA. The courses facilitated by the PSC in the past 2 years is tabled below.

COURSES

July 1997 – July 1999

ISLAND

NUMBER OF COURSES

PARTICIPANTS

FEMALES

Tourism

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

4

8

48

197

14

121

Fishing

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

4

0

201

0

0

Horticulture

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

1

12

6

5

2

Basic Engine Maintenance

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

5

0

129

0

0

Basic Computer

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

60

1

438

16

249

9

Office Administration

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

1

0

5

0

4

Media Skills

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

2

0

24

0

8

0

Justice of the Peace

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

2

0

14

0

1

Customer Services

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

0

18

0

_

Music Workshop

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

0

24

0

_

0

Carving Attachment

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

0

1

0

0

TOTAL

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

70

22

565

568

276

137

Source : Frances Topa-Apera, Training Program Coordinator, Public Service Commission

Since 1997, the PSC has coordinated at least 60 basic computer courses and 32 general courses. The average course duration is 5 days. A total of 1,133 people have participated in the courses and while gender balance is a target, females account for only 37% of this total. This is mainly due to high male attendances at basic engine maintenance and fishing courses. The actual deliverers of the training courses have been personnel from the private sector, various government agencies including Marine Resources, Tourism and Outer Islands Development and non-government organisations such as the Red Cross.

The range of courses and large number of participants indicate that the PSC has made a significant contribution towards achieving the Education Sector Action Plan objectives of increased numbers of people trained in information technology, small businesses, management, tourism and crafts.

Source : Arthur Taripo / Frances Topa-Apera, Public Service Commission, August 1999

6.5.1.2 CIANGO

The Cook Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (CIANGO) was established in 1994 as the Government recognised national umbrella for all NGOs in the Cook Islands. CIANGO has conducted numerous development programmes for NGO leaders and members including :

Population Development and Management SPREP

Disaster Mitigating and Management AusAID

Family Development and Management IPPF / CIFWA

Leadership and Capacity Building UNDP

Enhancing Volunteerism UNDP

Fund Raising Workshop UNDP

Environmental Development and Management SPREP

Quality Handicraft Production CIANGO

Women and Youth Development CIANGO

Project Planning and Implementation CIANGO

Effective Communication and Networking CIANGO

Forthcoming programmes include :

Report and Speech Writing, and Public Speaking UNDP

Human Resources Development UNDP

Financial Management and Budgeting UNDP

total of 50 NGOs have been financial members of CIANGO. All of these NGOs have been involved in providing basic education opportunities for their own members, their target clients or the public. The organisations that are currently active and financial members of CIANGO are :

Women’s Groups

CI National Council of Women

CI Catholic Women's League

Puaikura Ekalesia Vainetini

Araura Enua Women's Council

Mangaia Tiare Taina Vainetini

Enua Manu Vainetini NGOs

Tapuahua Vainetini

Palmerston Women's Council

Rakahanga Vainetini

Sacred Heart Women's Sewing Club

Punanga Tauturu

Mauke Women's Council

CI Business and Professional Women's Association

Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA)

Youth Groups

Arorangi Boys Brigade

CI Boys Brigade Company

CI Girls Brigade Company

CI Girl Guides Company

Rangiura Catholic Youth League

Aitutaki Girls Brigade Association

Enua Manu Mapu Taokotai

Ruaau Christian Youth Club

Betela Christian Youth Club

Others

CI Preschool Association

CI Teachers' Institute

Cook Islands Nurses Association

Cook Islands Disabled Society

Taporoporo Ipukarea Society (environment)

CI Sports Association

Mitiaro NGOs

Pukapuka NGOs

Penrhyn Island NGOs

Source : Vereara Maeva, CIANGO President, August 1999

6.5.2 Economic Sector Education and Training

A major aim of the Education Sector Action Plan (1992) was to improve the scale, quality and equity of output from the local and overseas training system appropriate for projected labour market requirements in the Cook Islands. Other government policy papers, including budget policy statements, particularly targeted development in the drivers of economic growth i.e. Marine Resources, Agriculture, Tourism, Offshore Banking and Private Sector Development. Reports on programs conducted by the Ministry of Marine Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism and Transport, and Small Business Enterprises Centre, as well as reports from other ministries, NGOs and media organisations, indicate that there has been significant opportunities for individuals to develop their skills in the key economic sectors.

6.5.2.1 Marine Resources

The Ministry of Marine Resources role in Commercial Species Development and its FAD / Extension Program is to :

provide management advice to owners, managers and exploiters of the resource

facilitate links to markets for users

provide technical training for interested parties including workshops

conduct workshops on artisanal fishing techniques

facilitate training attachments for private sector personnel

The Public Service Commission also reported that Ministry of Marine Resources staff were used to deliver fishing workshops for 201 outer island participants.

Source : "1998/99 Budget Estimates", Cook Islands Government, July 1998

Francis Topa-Apera, Public Service Commission, August 1999

6.5.2.2 Agriculture

"Growing your own food" is a basic feature of life in the Cook Islands and a part of Cook Islands’ culture and heritage. In 1996, 72% of households were engaged in subsistence level agriculture. However commercial production and exports have been declining since 1970 and this decline continues today.

The Ministry of Agriculture, with financial assistance from NZODA, AusAID, HSF, UNICEF, FAO and SPC, has conducted a wide range of workshops in order to enhance the skills and employment opportunities of individual Cook Islanders and to contribute towards a growth in the national economy. The workshops for November 1993 to October 1999 are listed in the following table.

WORKSHOP

ISLAND

DATE

Food Production follow up

Manihiki, Nth Group

Nov 1993

Crop Production and Marketing

Atiu, Sth Group

Feb 1994

Crop Production and Marketing

Mangaia, Sth Group

Apr 1994

Aitutaki Coffee Processing

Aitutaki, Sth Group

May 1994

Family Food Production

Mitiaro, Sth Group

Feb 1995

Southern Island Livestock Officers

Rarotonga

Mar 1995

Crop Production and Marketing follow up

Mangaia, Sth Group

June 1995

Crop Production and Marketing

Mauke, Sth Group

July 1995

Crop Production and Marketing

Atiu, Sth Group

Oct 1995

Family System Development

Mauke, Sth Group

Oct 1995

Family System Appraisal System

Mauke, Sth Group

Feb 1996

Goal Oriented Project Planning Tree Awareness

 

Mar 1997

Crop and Livestock Production and Marketing

Mitiaro, Sth Group

Apr 1997

Family Food Production and Nutrition

Rakahanga, Nth Grp

May 1997

Horticulture, Livestock and Quarantine

Penrhyn, Nth Group

Oct 1997

Family Food Production and Nutrition

Atiu, Sth Group

Feb 1998

Goal Oriented Project Planning follow up

 

Apr 1998

Plant Propagation for Small Farm Development

Aitutaki, Sth Group

May 1998

Family Food Production and Nutrition

Mitiaro, Sth Group

Oct 1998

Intensive Livestock for Small Farm Devp

Mangaia, Sth Group

Oct 1998

Goal Oriented Project Planning meeting

 

Dec 1998

Atiu Resource Management on Trees Plan

 

Feb 1999

Plant Propagation for Small Farm Development

Mauke, Sth Group

June 1999

Integrated Pest Management

Mangaia, Sth Group

June 1999

Integrated Pest Management

Atiu, Sth Group

July 1999

Integrated Pest Management

Aitutaki, Sth Group

July 1999

Intensive Livestock for Small Farm Devp

Atiu, Sth Group

Oct 1999

Family Food Production and Nutrition

Mauke, Sth Group

Oct 1999

The Ministry also conducts publicity and promotion campaigns through :

An agricultural radio programme

Occasional TV presentations

Agricultural publications and leaflets

School visits

Community meetings

Source : Sabati Solomona, Senior Planning and Policy Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, August 1999

6.5.2.3 Hospitality and Tourism

The Education Sector Action Plan aimed for increased numbers of hotel and tourism trained staff from 1993. Significant numbers of people have received such training at the Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre (HTTC) on Rarotonga.

HTTC was a joint venture funded by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Cook Islands Government. The Centre was opened in 1994 and is managed by the Ministry of Transport and Tourism. Its main objective is to provide the tourism industry with appropriate tourism education and training development. HTTC delivers courses on Food and Beverages, Food Production, Management, and General Topics e.g. First Aid, and Introductions to Hotels and Catering. Funding assistance has been received from NZODA and the Cook Islands Business and Professional Women’s Association. Most of the courses have been delivered on Rarotonga. A few courses have been delivered on the Southern Group island of Aitutaki.

HTTC Course Participants 1996 - 1997

 

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999 (1)

Rarotonga

32

1444

264

553

68

95

Outer Islands

0

79

0

15

0

0

National

32

1523

264

568

68

95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) January – August 1999 only Source : Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre

Participant numbers peaked in 1995 when HTTC was in its first full year of operation, demand for training was high and the country’s economy was still considered to be stable. The number of participants in 1995 (1,523) exceeded the total number of people employed in the Trade/Restaurant/Accommodation industry in 1996 (1,468). Io Tuakeu Lindsay, a former Director of the Tourism Directorate, attributed the decline in participant numbers to HTTC succeeding in meeting the basic training needs of the majority of hospitality workers. (personal communication, 1998)

Source : Theresa Noovao, HTTC Training Coordinator, Ministry of Tourism and Transport, August 1999

6.5.2.4 Small Businesses

An objective of the Education Sector Action Plan was to increase the number small business trained people in the Cook Islands. The Small Business Enterprise Centre Ltd (SBEC or Te Mato-Tupuranga) opened in January 1998 and since that time has conducted basic business skills training workshops on Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, Mauke, Mitiaro, Mangaia and Penrhyn. In the first 15 months of operation the SBEC trained 645 participants including 406 (63%) from the outer islands. Workshops delivered from 1 January 1998 to 31 March 1999 are summarised in the table below.

SKILL

WORKSHOP DURATION

ISLAND

NUMBER OF WORKSHOPS

PARTICIPANTS

Starting a Small Business

3 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

4

5

29

58

Small Business Accounting

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

4

4

25

59

Book Keeping and Accounting

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

2

3

8

44

Small Business Cashflow

3 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

4

0

41

Product Costing, Pricing and Break-even Analysis

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

2

7

17

103

Business Plan Preparation

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

0

5

0

Small Business Marketing and Market Research

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

4

2

16

42

Basic Stock Control for Small Businesses

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

2

0

9

0

Small Business Office Administration

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

5

0

23

0

Customer Service Skills

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

9

2

74

47

Time Management

2 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

4

0

29

0

Staff Motivation

3 days

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

1

0

4

0

Food and Beverage Training

1 day

Rarotonga

Outer Islands

0

1

0

12

 

The SBEC has also conducted 43 vocational skills training sessions in 3 Rarotonga colleges.

Source : Lisa Sadaraka, Manager, SBEC, June 1999


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