Vocational training

PM’s focus on technology and job training

He said so yesterday (25 January 2022) when announcing higher and technical education reform initiatives supporting the Papua LNG project and other major upcoming developments in the oil and mining sectors.

These are:

  • Generational reforms in quality assurance, regulation and compliance;
  • Work closely with our development partners;
  • A National Skills Development Plan (PNDS) launched on Friday January 21, 2022;
  • National Labor Market Survey (NLMS);
  • Stronger engagement with business and industry; and
  • Places in higher education institutions (HEIs) funded by industry for eligible 12th graders.

“Technical and vocational training is an integral part of the higher education sector,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“Technical and vocational training is also of crucial importance in the development of skills and in the promotion of science, technology and innovation, encouraging the application, adaptation and use of new technologies.

“A skilled workforce with the capacity to replace the current large number of migrant workers at the bottom of PNG’s National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has significant lasting benefits for the PNG economy and community.”

The prime minister said the government agency responsible for higher and technical education, the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST), now has regulatory authority and oversight needed to provide a positive regulatory framework that reduced barriers and changed incentives for both the private sector and training providers.

“It is very timely as the government and industry partners collaborate on the successful deployment and implementation of the Papua LNG project and the related scale-up of other commercial projects in other industrial sectors,” did he declare.

“Government regulation of the skills sector has traditionally focused on supply-side technical training with a serious mismatch between the training taken and its relevance to the industry.

“Fortunately, this disconnected and outdated regulatory approach is a thing of the past.

“The recent transfer of Higher Education Establishments (EES) to DHERST marks a significant turning point in the operation and performance management of these establishments within the framework of the Higher and Technical Education reform.

“DHERST recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Total Energies Ltd, one of the largest energy and oil companies in the world, which is now moving strongly towards renewable technologies.

“DHERST and Total Energies are collaborating to undertake joint activities and leverage their comparative advantage to develop solutions that create positive economic and social value for the people of Papua New Guinea.

“To develop and upskill Papua New Guinea, Total Energies works with DHERST on human resource initiatives that shape both the quality of education received and the capacity of PNG’s workforce; as well as supporting Total Energies’ ability to access these skilled workers to meet the human resource needs of the Papua LNG project.

“By working through partner networks, there are mutual benefits in improving the productivity and competitiveness of PNG’s current workforce in ways that deliver economic and social value.

“The government hopes that other large and multinational corporations, as well as SMEs, will follow Total Energies’ lead by partnering with DHERST in a range of education and research initiatives.”