“It is people, their skills and abilities who will rebuild our economy post COVID-19,” Fiji’s Minster for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa told attendees at the launch of a Fashion Incubation Centre in Suva recently.
The Centre is a joint initiative of the Fiji National University (FNU) and the Australian Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), and the product of consultations held with Fiji’s fashion industry in 2019. These discussions aimed to identify and explore ways to address the production needs of local designers and fashion graduates of FNU and APTC.
Minister Vuniwaqa said the Centre would provide an ‘enabling environment’ for aspiring designers to unleash their full potential.
The FNU’s Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor, Tessa Price commended the partnership, stating that it would provide integrated short courses in various areas.
“The programmes designed for the Centre will provide guidance, mentoring, technical skills, business support and mentoring for both local and regional designers,” said Price.
Also speaking at the launch, The Chair of Fiji Fashion Council, Andrew Powell stated that the Centre showcases the fresh talent Fiji has to offer in the fashion sector.
“I am confident that the Fashion Incubation Centre will play an important role in enhancing Fiji’s image as a great place to shop, and a great trendsetter in today’s global fashion market,” said Powell.
All speakers at the event commended the timely launch of the Fashion Incubation Centre, especially during the current social and economic hardships induced by COVID-19. Minister Vuniwaqa underlined that the coming months and years will be challenging for Fiji’s economy and society.
She further added that Fijian Government’s recovery strategy is focused on getting ‘people back to work’ work during the post COVID-19, especially in skill-based, sustainable employment.
The Centre will provide production runs for small business entrepreneurs who typically make low- quantity orders and allow them to contribute towards Fiji’s economic recovery.