Kiribati is a country facing numerous economic, social, demographic and environmental challenges. It is a country with limited natural resources. Infertile soils, severely restricted land and water resources coupled with limited economic prospects renders Kiribati a developing nation. Kiribati’s population are geographically spread across 32 dispersed and isolated atolls and one raised coral island. Increased urbanization and internal migration from the outer islands are creating their own problems in terms of provisioning and increased crowding. Permanent overseas migration, while offering economic opportunities does not solve the development needs of Kiribati. Temporary overseas migration, such as through seasonal migrant work programs and employment opportunities on foreign owned sea vessels, allows for remittances to enter the Kiribati economy. Such remittances, along with development aid play an important role, making significant contributions to the Kiribati economy.
The Marine Training Centre (MTC) at Betio, Tarawa is instrumental in the preparation of graduates in obtaining employment on sea vessels. A gap in information on the economic contribution of the MTC to the Kiribati economy was identified. It is also timely that such an analysis be done with the approach of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the MTC