Thursday, April 30, 2009

First, build your desk – Skills training in PNG

Adham Crichton, an NZAID communications advisor, describes a skills-training centre he visited earlier this year in Papua New Guinea.

In January I was part of the delegation that travelled to PNG for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting and then onto the Solomon Islands.

During my time in Port Moresby, NZAID Programme Administrator John Koi took me out to visit the Morata Vocational Centre. The centre runs short term-training programmes on behalf of the Ginigioada Foundation, a not-for-profit community development organisation based in Port Moresby.

Skills training is important Pacific-wide but it has special significance in Port Moresby, where 80 percent of the population is unemployed or underemployed. The training targets unemployed young people and covers welding, plumbing, carpentry, small motor repair and electrical maintenance.

Mr Gabriel Iso from the Ginigioada Foundation and the centre’s manager Mr Hillary Damke took the time to show me around, and it was amazing what they were able to achieve given the basic nature of the facility.
The carpentry students at Morata helped build the electrical workshop at the Centre and also helped build desks for a local school, which highlights just how limited training facilities are in PNG, and also the very practical nature of the centre’s training.

The success of the Morata Vocational Centre and the Ginigioada Foundation is that the training they offer is aligned with identified skill shortages and participants must show they are committed and have the support of their local community.

NZAID provided PGK$77,000 in the 2007/08 financial year to support the Ginigoada Foundation’s Skills Development Training Programme. This funding covered the hire of venues and tools, and allowances for trainers who run the vocational courses.

The accompanying photo show Mr Gabriel Iso and Mr Hillary Damke in the facilities that the centre’s students helped to create.
You can read more about skills training in the Pacific and the Morata Vocational Centre in the latest edition of NZAID's magazine Currents.

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