Subject: LUSA: Portuguese aid producing tradesmen to counter skills shortage

East Timor: Portuguese aid producing tradesmen to counter skills shortage

Dili, June 29 (Lusa) - About East Timorese qualified as carpenters, electricians, plumbers and stonemasons this week after completing professional training courses funded by Portuguese development aid.

The trainees received over 500 hours of specialized instruction, including Portuguese-language teaching, at the National Center for Labor and Professional Training (CNEFP) at Tibar, about 15 km west of Dili.

President Xanana Gusmão, presenting diplomas to the newly qualified tradesmen, highlighted the center's importance in offering training in areas where acute skill shortages exist in Timor.

The group of 51 graduates from the CNEFP, funded through cooperation with the Lisbon Ministry of Labor and Solidarity, received a box of tools and are eligible for micro-credit to set up in business.

Portugal is bankrolling the CNEFP to the tune of over euros 1 million this year.

CNEFP plans soon to introduce new courses for abattoir operatives and in butchery, farming, and house reconstruction.



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