Centre provides training programmes for locals to sustain livelihoods


THE Kiunga Vocational Centre in Western has facilitated short courses for various skills training since 1996, reaching out to communities with the vision of achieving the National Education Policy of ‘education for all’.
According to the centre’s short course coordinator, Helen Dupnai, it was realised in 1996 that there was a need for community empowerment programmes.
She said through a partnership with the department of agriculture and livestock, commerce, community development, and Health and the Kiunga Vocational Centre, a team was formed to coordinate the training.
Dupnai said the team’s main focus was to promote skills training in the various communities throughout the North Fly district and other parts of Western, to encourage locals to learn basic skills to process their resources and sustain their livelihoods.
She explained that over the years there has been a shift in the attitude towards skills training. More people were beginning to value the  importance of skills training for life.  She said that the short-course programmes were targeted at those who had been pushed out of formal education, but  there has been an increase in the number of formally employed or working class participants.
Dupnai said it was promising to see an increase in the number of younger people, particularly girls, participating in the short courses.
She said this year alone the centre had been able to continue to provide short courses through the support of Repsol and Horizon Oil Ltd.  About 200 short-course participants would also be a part of this year’s annual graduation in the coming weeks.
Dupnai thanked Repsol and Horizon Oil for being partners in reaching out to communities through skills training. She challenged other investors in the province  to invest in the long term sustainability of the local people’s livelihoods  through skills  training and  community empowerment.
She said in the recent week, 35 participants attended a short course on sewing. The centre was expecting more participants for its housekeeping courses. Dupnai said through the short course programmes, six trainees would be accredited with TVET
certificates during this year’s graduation.