Australia Pacific Technical College officially open for first student intakes from small Pacific Island Countries
Last year the Australian government pledged $US128 million to set up and operate the college, as an alternative to the Pacific leader's push for labour mobility to Australia and New Zealand. It is understood New Zealand has agreed to the Pacific's labour mobility proposal last year.
Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer told Radio Australia the first student intake this month will offer training in tourism and hospitality to fill critical skill shortages and boost employment opportunities and economic growth in the region.
The college is targetting the industry sectors of automotive, construction, manufacturing and electrical trades, tourism and hospitality, health and community services.
The internationally-recognised courses will run at training centres in Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Downer says from 2008, scholarships will be available to enable students, especially those from smaller island states, to participate.
Source: Radio Australia