On Wednesday 27 September 2006 Australian High Commissioner, Mr John Pilbeam presented Epule Rural Training Centre (RTC) with almost 160,000vt worth of tools. The provision of the new tools is the first project to be handed over under the Quality Fund, an initiative of the Australian Government funded Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Strengthening Program.

The staff of Epule RTC have very carefully selected the tools to make maximum use of the grant. The new tools will be used by students of carpentry, mechanics and electrical. Students are receiving technical training based on practical curriculum and quality teaching and these new tools will further enhance their learning enabling them to use up-to-date equipment and teaching resources.

The TVET Sector Strengthening Program’s Quality Fund has been set up to assist technical training providers such as Rural Training Centres, NGOs, secondary schools and other providers active in the provision of technical and life skills training, especially in rural areas by providing a grant of up to 160,000vt. The main purpose of the Quality Fund is to improve the quality of training through provision of teaching resources, to lift the quality of training equipment, and to raise the quality of buildings and facilities through construction of new facilities or by refurbishing existing ones.

“Vanuatu must keep up with the training standards of its near neighbours if we wish to compete in the modern world. Skilled people to skill the nation are essential for Vanuatu’s future growth and prosperity particularly in rural areas to attract investment and create further employment opportunities,” Mr Pilbeam said.

“This equipment should further improve the standard of the technical skills gained by Epule RTC students and their opportunities to seek further study opportunities, employment or to improve the lifestyle of their communities,” he said.

Applications and information on Quality Fund Grants can be obtained by visiting the TVET Sector Strengthening Program office located at VIT.

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