11 Apr 2005

Papua New Guinea to introduce dedicated vocational schools

8:18 pm on 11 April 2005

Papua New Guinea's Education Department is introducing a ten year plan which will see some secondary schools changed into vocational schools in an attempt to reduce unemployment.

The Department's Director of Skills Training, Edoa Veneo, says there is a high level of youth unemployment in PNG and students are leaving school without the skills to enter the workforce.

She says it will take time but students will be able to attend vocational schools which will offer carpentry, agriculture, arts and crafts, and business and entrepreneurial courses.

Ms Veneo says there is an understanding across society that more must be done to address youth unemployment.

"We have established some good networking systems between the Education Department with non-formal sector - community development, for example. So, we're working together to address unemployment, how best we can assist those people - train them to become skilled so that they are doing something for themselves rather than depending on the government handouts."

Ms Veneo is currently attending a Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat workshop on introducing entrepreneurial skills into schools and says this provides a platform for educators to find out what works in different countries.