The Urban Youth Skills Training Program was specifically designed to support the unemployed young people in the youth category of ages between 14-25 years that reside in impoverished and challenging urban settlements with impartation of skills training and generally capacity building to make them productive and employable. In responding to the escalating crime rates and social disorders in urban settlements due to influx of urban drift and high unemployment pressure, the program aims to create enabling environment for the youths to be appropriately skilled and empowered so that they could be easily transitioned into entering either formal employment or self-employment in their community-a crime diversion strategy implemented to keep the young people out of criminal activities and social disorders such as gambling, drugs & alcohol abuse, stealing and prostitution.
The main focus area of the skills training is not limited to carpentry, cabinet making & wood works, plumbing, electrical, welding and brick-laying. Apart from the technical and vocational training in these areas, we also offer other complimentary training and mentoring support to the participants in the areas of financial literacy, community governance & leadership and conflict resolutions and peace building. We have a successful history in working with a good number of youths in Lae urban and per-urban areas-so far we have trained well over 200 youths of 80% are male and 20% are female participants. Out of the total participants 95% have secured formal employment and the remaining 5% have gone into self-employment in their respective settlements.
The main development partners that supported this program are the PNG University of Technology, SDA Mission, Bank of Papua New Guinea & CEFI, Missionary Training College, St. Joseph’s and Umi TVET centres. This program is primarily targeting the youths in and around the vicinity of Lae urban LLG and its neighbouring peri-urban settlements. It is envisaged that the successful outcome and experience of this program could be implemented in other urban centres in Papua New Guinea.