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The Australian Supported Education Capacity Development Facility Contributes to PNG National Training Council Award

Advisory support provided by the Palladium managed Education Capacity Development Facility (ECDF) in PNG has helped primary training body the National Training Council (NTC) win the PNG Department of Labour and Industrial Relations’ 2015 Office of the Year Award.

The award follows a range of activities supported by the Australian Government, including advisory support through the ECDF for revising and updating the National Training Policy 1989 and assistance in drafting the National Training Council (Amendment) Act 2016 and National Training Council Regulations 2016. These legislative changes will ensure that the NTC has the legislative power to undertake its current activities and strengthen its regulatory function. The drafting of the regulations will also ensure that there is a detailed legislative process for the registration of private training organisations and legally ensure compliance by them with the PNG National Qualification Framework (PNGNQF).

NTC Director, Mr Kinsella Geoffrey said he was proud of the hard work his staff had shown in upgrading the Council's role to bring it more in line with PNG's current training needs.

"The award recognises our efforts to ensure the NTC provides more relevant, visible and sustainable support to both those delivering and receiving technical and vocational education training”.

“I am proud of how NTC's staff recognised that the Council’s out-of-date policies and laws were preventing it from reaching its full potential and decided to do something about it”.

“It is particularly pleasing to see how closely NTC staff and representatives of the Australian aid program continue to work together to bring NTC into the 21st century," Mr Geoffrey said.

NTC Director Mr Kinsella Geoffrey proudly holding the PNG Department of Labour and Industrial Relations' 2015 Office of the Year Award

The new legislative framework is expected to bring significant benefits to the technical and vocational education training sector. NTC will have the authority to better assess the performance of private training organisations, review the quality of their courses, to regulate the fees they charge, and to penalise institutions for non-compliance with the PNGNQF.

NTC's reforms will also give legislative status to its National Scholarship Training Fund Committee. This Committee provides community organisations such as church groups, women’s organisations and youth support groups with funds for short-term skills training of their officers. The NTC is also home to the Overseas Training Priorities Committee, which works closely with the Australia Awards Scholarship program’s Joint Steering Committee in selecting suitable candidates for overseas study from PNG’s private sector.

The Australian aid program, through the ECDF, has supported the NTC’s implementation of these important changes through a legal adviser who has worked with the Director in conducting a full legislative review of both the Act governing the NTC’s functions and the National Training Policy 1989.
As part of this process a range of meetings were held with stakeholders throughout 2015 in Port Moresby and regional centres to fully understand their expectations of the role NTC should play, leading to the establishment of a Technical Working Group to undertake policy development work. A revised National Training Policy 2016 is expected to be endorsed by the NTC later this year.

The Palladium managed Education Capacity Development Facility (ECDF) aims to provide quality support and technical assistance to the PNG Education Sector as prioritised by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Government of PNG at national and provincial levels. The ECDF manages a portfolio of programming that is designed to build both institutional and organisational capacity at different levels of the education system. This includes the ongoing management of 17 short- and long-term advisers and oversight of a large number of discrete, reform minded initiatives serviced through grant agreements and sub-contracting relationships. The program sits within Palladium’s Asia Pacific Education Practice portfolio.