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Tereora students gain valuable work experience

Thursday 14 December 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, National

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Tereora students gain valuable work experience
Year 13 Tereora College students have undertaken a week of “Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira” work experience with CITC (Cook Islands Trading Corporation Ltd). MELINA ETCHES/23121235

April Mana, the Cook Islands Trading Corporation Ltd (CITC) training manager, is passionate about empowering youth, particularly school leavers, to find employment in the country.

Mana is CITC’s “Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira” work experience programme with Year 13 Tereora College students.

The training programme encourages and offers school leavers the opportunity to be placed into various divisions of CITC, the country’s leading private sector employer with over 400 employees.

With around 130 students leaving Tereora College this year, Mana put into motion the work experience project.

“We want to provide a pathway for our young Cook Islanders to get their foot in the door, but we still want to instil in them that it’s up to them to do the work themselves, they have to do the work,” said Mana.

“This is something I have always wanted to do, I’m passionate about developing our youth in the company.”

Mana emphasised that the youth need to put in the work, “to listen, humble yourself and if someone is willing to mentor or guide you, then be willing to learn”.

She is well aware many of the school leavers will make the move overseas and that some will have obligations to help their families.

“We want to show that there is room for development here on the island, to work and learn.

“We want to support our young ones to grow within the company and we have quite a few Cook Islanders who started with us straight after school and have grown and developed into management.”

Mana said one of their success stories is Victor Reremoana, the CITC Liquor manager who came to Rarotonga from Mangaia as a school student, and started working part time in the warehouse while attending Tereora College.

Reremoana then became a full-time worker in the warehouse after leaving college, and rose through the ranks, becoming supervisor, manager, operations manager and now the CITC Liquor manager.

Mana acknowledged the seven students who participated in the programme and the CITC managers who took on the challenge to mentor these students during the busy season.

At the completion of the work experience in late November, a special morning tea was held for the students who were each presented certificates by CITC general manager Gaye Whitta.

The Tereora students in the Kia Pakari, Kia Rangatira programme were: Teina Maunga and Moana Vela (buddy) - Building Centre, manager Chris Baker; Kelera Baleikoro Terangi Solomona and Kairangi Anadariel (buddy) – Supermarket, manager Monika Taripo-Tuaratini; Kieran Uritaua - Satellite Stores, manager Anthony Doel; Tiare Monga and Joelle Tinirau - Excil Shipping, manager Maru Apera; Vallerina Makakea – Oasis, manager Utavaru Araitia.