22 Jun 2009

Australian government says PNG training scheme needs final agreement

1:55 pm on 22 June 2009

The Australian government says a technical training scheme for Papua New Guineans has yet to be finally agreed.

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 Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Islands Affairs, Duncan Kerr, says the proposal still needs the final sign-off.

"Well, Papua New Guinea has put forward a programme for comprehensive programme support for technical training at TAFE colleges, that is to be considered as part of the higher education schedule for the partnership agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea, we're very positive about this, we see great advantages but of course it still needs the final agreement of the Australia/Papua New Guinea ministerial forum at 2010 before we can really say whether the programme will be put into implementation."

Duncan Kerr of the Australian government.