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Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs in the country will be improved following a launching yesterday at the Port Moresby Technical College.

The improved program was co-funded by the Asian Development Bank, Australian Government and PNG at a cost of $USD66.39 million basically to strengthen the country’s TVET programs and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands.

Present to witness the important event were Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, Minister for Higher Education Research Science and Technology and Sports Don Polye, ADB country director for PNG David Hill, and Australian High Commission Minister Counselor Paul Lehmann and other important dignitaries.

Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso in his keynote address said the TVET sector in PNG’s education system comprises of public, religious, or private institutions, including technical and business colleges offering post-secondary courses and vocational training.

”I want for our country to have more Technical, Vocational, Education and Training Colleges so they can play important roles in implementing and promoting sustainable development in Papua New Guinea, to make a real difference in the lives of countless young people nationwide. The colleges build self-confidence and leadership skills by allowing students to utilize their unique gifts and talents. TVET institutions must be a major supplier of workforce who will be in the forefront in dealing directly with sustainable issues,” Rosso said.

Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology Don Polye also outline his vision for TVET.

“My vision is that the TVET for Employment Project will perform as an Innovation and Technology Business Incubator across PNG. It represents an important new beginning for the TVET sector and addresses many concerns about the nature and culture of quality education, innovation and entrepreneurship in Papua New Guinea. This project is the embodiment of a new approach – a new foundation – a commitment to building a culture of quality education and innovation in a renewed and revitalized TVET sector,” Polye said.

Deputy Prime Minister Rosso added saying, “ we hope this project will become a model for all technical and vocational education and skills training in TVET colleges in the country.”

The Asian Development Bank Country Director for PNG David Hill said this project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers in the construction trade and agriculture sectors where demand is high.

“We will work with our partners to help advance reforms in the TVET training space in PNG. These sought-after skills in priority sectors will help grow PNG’s economy,” Hill said.

The Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann said the Australian Government is pleased to be supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its reform goals in technical and vocational education and training to increase the number and quality of skilled workers,” said Mr Lehmann.

The ten selected colleges in the country that are participating in the project are Port Moresby Technical College, Bougainville Technical College, Madang Technical College, Mt Hagen Technical College, Highlands Agricultural College, Goroka Technical College, PNG National Polytechnic Institute, West New Britain Technical College, Western Province Technical College, and Don Bosco Simbu Technical College.

The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project is funded through a $USD50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $USD10.69 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $USD5.7 million.

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