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Entrepreneurs of the future learn about balancing books

WE Accounting provided a training workshop this week to teachers and students from ten different schools in the name of raising students' practical financial literacy skills. 

The firm's Samoa Branch Manager, Timoci Naivukedrau, told the Samoa Observer that the workshop on Wednesday was designed to bring an element of practical education to complement classroom studies. 

“We saw that there was a need to educate students on the reality of how work life is being conducted and what is being taught in schools," he said. 

Mr. Naivukedrau said that programme aimed to raise the standards of education so that completed graduates were in a position to meet employers' expectations and better compete with graduates from overseas institutions of learning. 

“We want to be [bridging the gap] between what Samoa lacks and where Samoa needs to be [by using] using our expertise in our connections and the ecosystems of our networks,” he said. 

The local workshops began this year after the firm established a long history of educational outreach in its home country of New Zealand. 

A Director for the firm, Wyndi Tagi, said: “We know that these students are the future for Samoa and so it’s really important that we do something to help educate, uplift and get them into good jobs.”

Mrs. Tagi said that some areas of education in Samoa remain lacking and are not yet bringing students up to standards where they can perform work required by employers. 

The National Bank of Samoa has sponsored the initiative with the creation of super saver accounts with pre-loaded deposits provided to the young participants. The bank accounts will be sealed and the students will not be able to withdraw money that is going to earn interest for a period of about 12 months.

“It’s not going to stop there as we are going to co-create after that, keeping it sustainable enough for money to flow into these student’s bank accounts,” Mr. Naivukedrau said.

WE Accounting says it intends to connect with associations such as the Samoa Chamber and other business bodies to provide internships for participating students. 

“For us, it is all about getting these people educated, trying to upskill them as fast as we can so that we can give them employment," Mrs. Tagi said.

“We are a growing business. We are going to need more staff pretty quickly. We’ve got five staff now as we just opened up in the beginning of this year.”

The C.E.O. of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Fualau Loli Talatalaga Mata’u Matafeo said: "We are agents of change, our government and its people depending on you in making that choice while you are in education now to change tomorrow.”

The Ministry said it hopes to develop a network of colleges and high schools across Samoa to make training such as this more accessible. 

A guest speaker, neurologist Momi Afelin from Hawaii, spoke to the importance of critical thinking in study and life, saying: “As islanders, we were all born as problem solvers as it is in our D.N.A.. But you cannot rely on your DNA alone as you also have to practice creating the connections in your brain, keep going in making decisions and choices that forms pathways in your brains.”  

WE expressed gratitude to workshop sponsors from S.S.A.B., N.B.S., Seafood Gourmet, Samoa Spare Parts and Aga Resort.

WE Accounting wants to deliver more training workshops to open up to other schools and give them an opportunity that the other 10 schools received yesterday as well.   

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