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HOME > MEDIA RELEASES > AUSTRALIAN ASSISTANCE TO ADDRESS SKILLS SHORTAGE IN VANUATU

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PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS THE HON CHRIS GALLUS MP

AA 02 81 19 Dec 2002

Australian Assistance to Address Skills Shortage in Vanuatu

I am pleased to announce the opening of the newly refurbished Masonry and General Mechanical Workshops at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology, part of an $11.2 million (approximately 830m Vt) institutional strengthening project, funded by Australia.

The funding will help address a skills shortage in Vanuatu.

'Hundreds of students of business, carpentry, hospitality, tourism and engineering are benefiting from the project which began in 1997 and will conclude next year,' the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Chris Gallus, MP said today.

'The project has supported the transition of the Institute from a purely French teaching institution to the country's premier institution providing technical and vocational education in both French and English.'

'Through Australian advisers, training has been provided to enhance the skills of the Institute's teachers and to assist them with curriculum development and the production of learning materials. This will lead to greater employment opportunities and improve management and management training as well as strengthen the teaching profession in Vanuatu,' Mrs Gallus said.

Links with the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Industry Advisory Committee have been developed to ensure that the curricula meet industry needs.

'The project has also helped achieve breakthroughs in access and equity. In 1996, roughly two-thirds of the students at the Institute were French-speaking. Today, almost half are French-speaking and

half English-speaking. Almost half the students are now women with an increasing number enrolling in non-traditional areas of study such as mechanics and electrical works,' she said.

Women have also been the largest group of recipients under an equity scholarship program. Scholarships have been given to 17 female disadvantaged students, 7 male disadvantaged students and to 2 students with disabilities to enable them to pursue careers in various trades.

Contacts: Craig Bildstien (Office of Mrs Gallus) 02 6277 4840 Jo Elsom (AusAID) 02 6206 4960

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