THIS year, the Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC) in Lae will celebrate its 30th anniversary as an educational institution.
The college was established in 1977 as a bilateral aid project between the Government and New Zealand, commencing its formal training in 1978.
From 1978 to 1994, the institution was known as the Timber Industry Training College (TITC) and was managed by the Department of Forestry.
After merging with the PNG University of Technology (Unitech), TITC became known as the Timber and Forestry Training College (TFTC) and was made an external campus of the university.
TFTC conducts vocational, technical and trade training for the timber industry.
Deputy principal, Paul Aoae, said this year marked a milestone in TFTC’s 30-year history.
Mr Aoae said despite so many challenges, the college always managed to get through each year with support especially from Unitech.
Another organisation that has been fully supportive of the college is the New Zealand government through its New Zealand Aid (NZAID) donor programme.
Since 1997, NZAid has provided scholarships to female students for the first year to do pre-employment technical training (PETT) certificate courses through its women in agriculture (WiA) programme.
First year female students at the University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) in Vudal, East New Britain province, also benefit from the scheme.
TFTC has been able to place both men and women into the timber industry in the country and has helped in human resource development.
TFTC has a variety of trade certificate courses for men and women in the areas of timber harvesting, processing and the manufacturing of added value timber products or a combination of all subjects.
Mr Aoae said this year, a total of 35 students would be graduating – 25 of them women – under the NZAID’s WiA scholarship programme.
He said the college was looking towards introducing diploma certificate course in 2011.