The National, Monday 17th June 2013
By CARMEL PILOTTI
MORE than a hundred Engan students will undergo training in Manila, Philippines by next month.
The Enga Provincial Government has partnered with an international education agency Site Group and a recruitment agency Orion Group in this pilot project.
The Ipatas Foundation and Enga government injected K4.5 million into the project for tuition fees of 120 students to take up courses in heavy diesel, construction, fabrication and welding and camp services.
Site Skills Training Group provides training in trade fields suitable for mining jobs, which are in demand currently in the country with the recent mining boom.
In partnership with recruiting firm Orion, Site Group CEO Vernon Wills is confident the project will be a success and be beneficial to the country.
“This is an opportunity to develop sustainable skills and halt the influx of foreign workers, replacing them with PNG nationals,” Wills said.
Orion project manager Derek Sutherland said PNG had a wealth of talent and with exciting prospects ahead it was good to develop nationals.
Governor Peter Ipatas said if this first step was successful he would like to see it applied nationwide if other provinces or the national Government would like to join the project.
“We must use our economic boom now to build up our local manpower,” he said.
Grade 12 graduates who apply will go through screening processes and aptitude tests to find their individual job suitability.
Young people from underprivileged homes are being targeted.
They will be expected to sign a loan agreement with the Ipatas Foundation to repay the tuition fees of K22,000 when they are employed.
The courses will go for 12 months and equip the apprentices with skills that can be used all over the world.