7 Jul 2007

Government funding for Tongan youth deferred till next year

8:29 am on 7 July 2007

The Tongan government's proposed fund for trade and technical training has been deferred until next year.

The government's proposal was to collect a one percent levy on Income Tax that would go towards preparing young people for both local and overseas job markets.

It is estimated around 80 percent of youths leaving school do not have a job and are unable to advance into tertiary education.

The Minister for Training, Employment, Youth and Sports, Hon. Tu'ivakano says New Zealand and Australia are supportive of Tonga's training initiatives.

Some of the people's representatives supported the levy, but most were unfamiliar with the idea, and asked that government to explore more traditional forms of funding.

The King of Tonga wants 90 percent of Tonga's youth to be in some form of training program, within the next five years.