National Skills Development Agency (NSDA) was launched in in Port Moresby in July 30th 2019 by the Minister for Education Education, Research, Science and Technology, Hon.Nick Kuman The NSDA is a representative multi-stakeholder Advisory group that acts as an engagement platform for Government, industry, the Higher Education Institution (HEIs), and the civil society to address national skills priorities. According to the DHERST Newsletter Vol2, 2019, the agency will provide advice to the National Higher Education and Technical Education Board (NHTEB) and DHERST on national skills priorities including the development of the National Training Plan.
The Hon.Minister said during the launch that presence of NSDA signals the importance of the need to learning institutions with the actual labor needs of the respective industries. This will enable the skills and training programs offered at the TVET Higher learning institutions to align their programs towards the skills and quality standards required the workplace. This in turn will reduce the country’s dependence on skills workers from abroad.
The launching also coincided with the announcement of the National Higher Education Technical Education Board (NHTEB) members who will be working with the NSDA.
According the the DHERST news letter, “the launching of NSDA reinforces the government’s commitment to improving education quality and increased graduate output through higher education and technical education, renewed partnering for better access to skills and a competitive workforce; accelerated and sustainable skills that create employment path ways in priority economic growth sectors: shared value outcomes that target skills initiatives contributing to economic and social impact.”
The NSDA was needed as the country experienced a skilled labor force shortage during the country’s LNG project which saw a influx of foreign workers brought in from countries like Vietnam, India, Philippines, Malaysia and etc through international recruitment agencies to fill the gap. Now that the second LNG project has just be signed for construction phase, it is important that NSDA and higher educational institutions work hand in hand to provide the right advisory role to the national government so Papua New Guineas can fully benefit from the development of the 2nd LNG project and others that are in the pipeline for development.