By Sarah Byrne

PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S South Pacific Employment Institute will be managing the Port Moresby Construction Training Facility in an alliance with Orion Group and Orion Project Services PNG.

Working with its principle training partner Site Group International, the South Pacific Employment Institute (SPEI) aims to improve competency and employment outcomes in the region.

SPEI is a custom built vocational training facility, donated to the state by ExxonMobil on completion of the construction phase of the PNG LNG project.

The company said courses commenced in the first quarter of 2015, with companies, industries and governments demonstrating keen interest, in particular the oil and gas and mining sector.

SPEI director Nick Smith said the group was developing a syllabus.

“We want to know from industry what training they want and we will source it and we want industry and the nation to make the most of this legacy from Exxon.”

SPEI said it aimed to develop the Papua New Guinean workforce at all levels and across a range of industries and demographics.

The courses set out to service government and industry, covering technical positions, such as, process technicians, instrumentation, electrical and mechanical for the oil and gas sector, but also addressing basic construction training, delivering skills within local communities and at village level.

Training people at a vocational and trade level, the facility will also act as a central hub for major resources project personnel transiting through Port Moresby.

Mr Smith said the company aims to build competency so that PNG develops less of a reliance on expensive expatriate labour.

In a statement, SPEI said Orion, SPEI and the PNG government were setting benchmarks with the standard of training and the relevance to industry, with immediate benefit to impacted communities for resources, infrastructure and industry of national significance in PNG.

“SPEI will bridge the gap, connecting trainees to meaningful participation in industry whilst trainees gain valuable accreditations towards international and Australian Qualification Framework standards,” the company said.

Intel computer literacy training courses run exclusively in PNG under Orion Project Services will be run at SPEI and throughout the country, meeting the United Nations objective of increasing computer literacy rates throughout the developing world, the company said.

Commenting on looking forward to seeing the program implemented, Mr Smith said “There is every reason to get this right for PNG, and the cabinet and department of education’s decision to endorse this innovative program demonstrates a forward thinking government with vision.”