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ASG Post-Graduate Apprenticeship Program calls first meeting next Monday

Governor Lolo M. Moliga’s Post Graduate Apprenticeship Program administered by the Department of Human Resources is coming to life and he is calling on all those holding Bachelors and Masters Degree to attend a meeting this coming Monday at the Governor’s Conference Room.


HR Director, Sonny L. Thompson stated that this program, which is the first of its kind,  is among the numerous efforts to continually provide services for the people, whether the service is social, medical, financial, etc.  As of last month, seventy-five college graduates have registered with Governor Lolo’s Post-Graduate Apprenticeship Program, in which ASG will partner with the private sector to place Bachelor and Masters degree holders in management positions in private businesses around the island.


Thompson told Samoa News that Governor Lolo has spent a great deal of time reviewing and assessing the current status of their workforce through the Department of Human Resources Workforce Review and Analysis. Thompson said that this includes the assessment of all youth who have been afforded the opportunity and were qualified to pursue higher education through ASG Scholarship and Student Loans - not only tracking and monitoring their school progress but identifying where they can and will be placed in the workforce upon their successful completion and return home. 


“Governor Lolo asked to put out an announcement for all ASG Scholarships and Student Loans Recipient who have successfully completed BS, BA or Masters to meet with him next week so they can discuss their employment status and if not employed ASG will assist in finding them employment - after all we (ASG) sent these young men and women to pursue their educational goals with the hope they would someday serve this government,” said the HR Director.


Thompson further stated that this is just the beginning of the governor's plan in this area and this effort is way overdue.  The governor wants the scholarship and student loan board to not only review the current eligibility criteria so that it is realistic but when offered to students, track them from beginning to end. 


The Governor’s Executive Assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said that this move is to attract college graduates who return home, to assure them that they will have a meaningful job when they return.  Iu said that the move started about three months ago by the Department of Human Resources  to register college graduates who are currently on island, unemployed or underemployed looking for different, more meaningful work. 


Iu said the government will pay 50% of the salary of the employee placed in a management job by a private sector company for one full year at the end of which the employer will maintain the employee full time.


“The Governor's objective is to move college graduates into the private sector in line with his private sector expansion mandate and also to attract our college graduates home by providing assurances that they will have a meaningful job when they come home. The Governor was also briefed by Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele on the State Small Business Credit Initiative, or SSBCI and the inherent private investments, which will result if the US Department of Labor approves our revised application to access the SSBCI funds.


Proposed investments will bring the types of industries that will require college graduates. One of the points that yielded full consensus during Western Governor’s Association Chair Fallin's Job's Initiative is that a high school diploma is no longer enough in today’s job market with global demands.


This is one of the programs that’s budgeted in the FY 2014 budget — being allocated $1 million under the ‘Economic Development/Private Sector Initiative’, which the governor says entails the placement of college degree holders in private sector jobs, and the funds provide an incentive to the private sector participant to place the candidate in an entry level management position reflective of the aspiration of the college graduate.


A full compensation subsidy period will be set at 6 months and for the following six months the subsidy will gradually reduce until its reaches zero at the completion of the 12th month. Thereafter the participant company will assume the full cost of the candidate’s salary.


The governor says economic development is assigned a top priority given its impact on the lives of local residents, specially as reflected in the creation of new jobs. He said more jobs allow more people to generate income to purchase goods and services which elevate the quality of their lives.


He also says that this initiative “is to prevent our best and brightest young people from migrating offshore forcing us to rely on expatriates for technical and management skills.”


“It will encourage our college graduates to return home to lend their special skills to the development of our territory,” said Lolo, who first revealed this initiative during the July 11 cabinet meeting.