THE Independence Fellowship scheme (IFS) was launched on Tuesday to help the Labour and Industrial Relations department to promote self-help projects among the rural people.
A total of K20 million has been provided by the National Government to pay for scholarships and specific projects within four years.
Chairman of the IFS board of trustees Samson Lowa said the fellowship scheme formed part of the Government strategy on human resource development, poverty alleviation and job creation.
The IFS was started in 1978 but was not given much attention until recently.
So far, it has helped trained Papua New Guineans in rural areas with skills in tourism and hospitality, small businesses, textiles training, agriculture, fisheries and small-scale sawmilling operations.
Mr Lowa said the IFS had drawn up a four-year plan beginning next year and 600 scholarship winners from around the country will be picked.
“The IFS is aimed at helping those with existing projects in the rural areas and others who wish to further their knowledge and skills,” he said.