22 Jun 2009

PNG union doubts Australian based training programme will go ahead

7:37 pm on 22 June 2009

The Trade Union Congress in Papua New Guinea says it doubts a technical training programme agreed with the Australian government will go ahead.

Papua New Guinea's government says the scheme will help address the country's serious skills shortage, especially as it commercialises its natural gas.

The governments of both countries agreed on the training programme at the Australia/PNG ministerial forum earlier this month in Brisbane and PNG wants to see it in place by the middle of next year.

But the union's president, Michael Malabag, says other such schemes have failed to materialise.

"Whether the Papua New Guinea and the Australia government, whether that undertaking that's been given if it's going to happen or not that's another particular area already, because where I'm coming from is also with the seasonal workers, too and that's been going on for some time and up until now nothing has come to fruition yet and now they come with another particular area altogether so that remains to be seen if it's going to happen at all"

Michael Malabag says his government would be better spending time stopping foreign workers from doing jobs that Papua New Guineans could be doing right now.