Mimika (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin has said that the government will give priority to Papuans in providing vocational education.

"We will give priority to Papuans in accessing vocational education. This is our new approach to them," Amin informed virtually during the inauguration of the Somatua Training Center Building in Mimika, Central Papua, on Wednesday.

The job training center was founded by Maximus Tipagau in 2020 to provide skills training to native Papuan workers, especially in the mining sector.

"I appreciate the Somatua Training Center coordinated by Mr. Tipagau who is also a native of the region. I am proud that there are many Papuans who encourage new entrepreneurs and quality human resources," he added.

The Vice President also congratulated Somatua Training Center on the accreditation of 14 majors offered by it.

"Congratulations on the successful accreditation of 14 majors in the Somatua Training Center from the Ministry of Manpower. I hope this place will develop further," Amin remarked.

On the same occasion, director of the Somatua Training Center, Tipagau, said that he was in the tourism business in 2008–2010 and helped domestic and foreign tourists to ascend to the top of Carstensz, but he saw other urgent needs in Papua.

"Papua is rich but we still have zero abilities. Vocational and Work Training Centers (BLK) must be built in new provinces to reduce poverty and crime rate in Papua. The answer to this problem is vocational education. However, we still need help from the Manpower Ministry and the Education and Culture Ministry to establish the BLK," Tipagau added.

From February 2020 to January 2022, the Somatua Training Center held trainings for 5 batches with a total of 150 students.

Currently, the 5th training intake is still running with 46 students enrolled in 7 majors, namely electrical, construction, welding, drilling, heavy equipment operation (excavator), mechanics, and occupational health and safety.

Some of the participants who have completed the training have worked in the operational area of PT Freeport Indonesia.

All Somatua Training Center programs have been accredited by the Ministry of Manpower.

Acting governor of Central Papua, Ribka Haluk; acting head of Mimika district, Johannes Rettob; president director of PT Freeport Indonesia, Tony Wenas; and other related officials also joined the inauguration ceremony.

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Translator: Desca Lidya N, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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