Papua New Guinea’s work force is to be further boosted by the PNG LNG Scholarship program funded by ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG) and implemented in partnership with the Australian Government in 2017.
The partnership between ExxonMobil and the Australian Government contributes to addressing rural workforce gaps in the frontline service delivery sector of health, with promotion focused on students living in rural and remote locations from PNG LNG Project areas.
The Australian High Commission’s Counsellor (Education) Ms Suzanne Edgecombe described the partnership as an excellent example of the private and public sector coming together to enhance economic and social progress.
“Through the EMPNG-DFAT partnership PNG citizens will gain skills to provide essential health services to their communities in remote areas. It is extremely pleasing to see the Australian and PNG Governments coming together with industry, to harmonize the work they do to enhance PNG’s economic progress,” Ms Edgecombe said.
Sisa Kini, ExxonMobil PNG’s Community Development Support Manager said EMPNG is pleased to partner with the Australian Government to provide funding for scholarships in PNG LNG project areas.
“The Australian Government has enormous expertise in managing scholarships and by tapping into their structured and well administered scholarship program with institutions that are recognised and certified, we can provide greater educational opportunities for students in communities close to PNG LNG project areas.
“It is our hope that over time, our investment in youth today is laying the foundation for a competent, capable and professional Papua New Guinea workforce, one that supports all industry sectors, and contributes to the growth and development of their communities and this country.”
The 15 awardees for 2017 have already commenced studies at their respective training schools.
The continuation of the PNG LNG Scholarship program follows the original agreement in 2015 for the Australian Government and EMPNG to combine efforts and provide scholarships to Papua New Guineans in the PNG LNG project area through the Australian Government’s scholarship program, Australia Awards PNG (AAPNG).
The PNG LNG Scholarship program was piloted in 2016. Under this pilot phase, seven scholarships were awarded to PNG LNG project area students to study Certificate in Community Health Work in PNG. Under the extended program, EMPNG will support the continuing seven students from last year as well as sponsor the 2017 enrolment of 15 new students in a Certificate in Community Health Work at Rumginae, St Gerard’s or Raihu Community Health Work Training Schools.
The Australian Government will be working in partnership with EMPNG until 2020 with activities focused on law & justice, governance and the scholarship program