The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
MORE than 700 students from Enga sat for an entry test to be selected for special skills training in the Philippines last week.
This followed the signing of an agreement between Ipatas Foundation and two well-known training specialist companies, Site Group of Australia and Port Moresby based Orion Group.
The Enga provincial government paid K4.5 million last month as part of the agreement to send 120 students to the Philippines to undertake specific skills training, including heavy equipment mechanic, metal fabrication, hospitality and related courses which are in high demand in the country’s booming mining, gas and oil industries.
And the number of interested students who applied for the programme was overwhelming within a week before the test.
Site Group general manager Shane O’Sullivan, who was in Wabag with another company executive Brett McPhee and Mon Aisir of Orion Group, to facilitate the entry test at Wabag Primary School, said they would trim the number down to 120 after assessing requirements of every student that applied.
O’Sullivan described the move by the Enga government under the leadership of Governor Peter Ipatas as first of its kind in Papua New Guinea, adding the prospect of employment for the students was promising because of the world class training that they would receive in six months.
“We have trained more than 5,000 people in our facility in the Philippine and more than 30,000 in our various training centres in Australia.
“However, we have done none in this country and this is going to the first. Those who pass out of this programme will be Australian equivalent,” he said.
Orion Group operations manager Mon Aisir, whose company is responsible for facilitating skilled workforce in the country, said his organisation would assist in industrial engagement for another six months in PNG after their training in the Philippines.
Aisir said the first 120 students were expected to leave PNG for the Philippines late next month.