Cagica turns passion into profession

Derek James Cagica. Picture: SUPPLIED

Derek James Cagica is determined to pursue his career in the construction industry and has enrolled in a short course in tile laying at Fiji National University’s (FNU), National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC).

The 18-year-old, who is originally from Vanuabalavu, said he is working hard to become a professional tile layer in the carpentry field.

“My interest in the construction sector was developed as a kid since I loved creating things outside the house, and my passion grew,” he explained.

“I was also influenced by my uncles who were construction workers themselves in projects like the Flea Market, Wakaya, and many more projects which they carried out.

“The construction industry is intriguing because we get to fulfill people’s dreams, especially their dream homes. The pay is good, especially overseas, and your craft is valued.”

The youngest of three siblings, Cagica, said that NTPC is helping him make his dream come true by providing him with the relevant knowledge and abilities.

“When you have the necessary skills and experience, you can do the task and obtain a positive evaluation from the homeowners,” he said.

“My job also keeps me healthy and fit because it demands a lot of physical effort.”

The Tile Laying course at NTPC is one of eight short courses that students can study via grants available through the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS).

Students can also choose to undertake studies in the following short courses eligible under the study grant provided by TSLS. The courses include Plastering, Block Laying, Painting and Decorating, Sheetmetal Works, Basic Furniture Making, Basic Plumbing and Construction Fundamentals.

TSLS Study Grants

Students interested in the two-week short courses are encouraged to apply now at FNU to receive an Offer Letter.

The Offer Letter is required in their application to TSLS before the study grant deadline next Monday, 3 October 2022.

In addition, eligible applicants must be a Fijian citizen, not be in any form of employment or a current Year 12 or Year 13 student and be fully vaccinated or exempted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services if above the age of 18.

All applications are to be made to TSLS using the Grant Application Form, which can be downloaded from

For further information regarding the short courses, applicants can contact NTPC representatives on the details below:

Narere Campus, Nasinu: Merelita Delasau, Email: , Ph: 3392000 Ext: 4765

Naceva Campus, Lautoka: Sovaia Kubukodrau, Email: , Ph: 6667000/665021 Ext: 7300

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