Ministry of Training, Employment, Youth and Sports (Tonga)
As part of the government restructure in 2006, the Ministry of Training, Employment, Youth and Sport was created. A primary objective of the new ministry is to address the rising problem of youth unemployment in the Kingdom.
One of the ministry's current projects aimed at address the unemployment problem is the ADB’s youth micro-enterprise development project.
The project was initiated in 2004 as part of ADB’s efforts to improve employment prospects of Tonga’s youths and is expected to be completed by 2008. It will develop a youth micro-enterprise development program based on proven models which can be implemented countrywide. Target age group is 18-28 years of age and aims at providing them with an opportunity to participate in micro-enterprise activities.
Micro-enterprise specialist Robyn Cornford is heading the project, assisted by ‘Aisea Latu. Robyn said that surveys and consultations with youths throughout the Kingdom will be held to obtain their views and aspirations in order to ensure the project will be successful. The project aims at creating an enabling environment that encourages enterprises and fosters the development of business ideas through helping youths to learn and practice micro commercial projects, learn about financial literacy and awareness, marketing, identifying opportunities, sports management, handicrafts, intellectual property and other business issues. She said that they would like to help youths understand the realities of business and how to run a business but at the same time enjoy themselves and have fun.
She acknowledged the important role of local institutions and organizations such as Tonga National Youth Congress and Chamber of Commerce in supporting and mentoring those in micro-enterprising projects.
At the end of the project, youths in ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuas and Tongatapu will have better financial literacy, knowledge, skills and experiences in micro-enterprise development which will contribute to resolving the current youth unemployment problem.
The above project is linked to SDP8 Chapter 6 Strategy 14 Design and implement a countrywide program for the development of youth enterprises.