|Issue No 118||02 November 2001|
East Timor Training Centre Copmpleted
The Australian construction industry this week celebarted the completion of the East Timor Vocational Education Centre in Dili.
The East Timor Vocational Education Centre was funded by donations from Australian building companies, the development community and Australia's largest construction union, the CFMEU.
After playing a leading role in community campaigning in support of East Timorese independence, the Australian construction industry union made a commitment to assist in the reconstruction of East Timor.
This assistance has taken the form of the East Timor Vocational Education Training Project. Fourteen companies and industry bodies joined with the CFMEU and APHEDA in raising A$250,000 for the project, which includes as a major component the construction of a vocational training centre in Dili.
The name of the training centre is Knua Buka Hatene - the Tetum name means "a community place of learning". There are two other smaller components of the project, equipment for a technical high school and the development of carpentry workshop cooperatives in rural areas. The official launch of the project took place in June 2000.
The funds raised have enabled the construction of Stage 1 of Knua Buka Hatene to proceed. Construction of the Centre is due to be completed in early November - the centre will be formally opened on 23 November 2001. Stage 1 will be an independent multi-functional training and resource centre for literacy, information technology, English as a second language, carpentry and occupational health and safety, managed by a Board comprising of local Timorese partners.
With additional funding of A$30-40,000 we hope to construct Stage 2 of Knua Buka Hatene. Stage 2 comprises additional workshop space, which will enable more trainees to benefit from practical trades based training.
APHEDA, an accredited aid agency, is the organisation responsible for the in-country management of the project, including the liaison and co-ordination with local partner organisations and their project committees. The Australian Building Industry Sub-Committee (BISC), comprised of WALTER Construction Group, Multiplex, Leighton Contractors, CFMEU (National C&G Div), is the group which represents the donors and together with APHEDA meets regularly to monitor the project.
In the long term, the East Timor Vocational Education Training Project reflects the hope that the Australian construction industry will be able to work in partnership with the people of East Timor.
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