Training in Timor Leste

2010 April Training in Timor Leste
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Marilyn Harvey

The country had only known peace for three years when the AWE delegation visited Timor Leste. In this country, the ‘3Rs’ meant Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation. Roads, water and electricity infrastructure were still being repaired. Construction of commercial buildings was just beginning, and fledgling industries were desperate for personnel with any sort of skills at all.

A National Qualifications Framework had just been submitted for Ministerial approval. This had Certificates I, II, III, IV, Diploma in a similar, but not identical fashion, to the Australian framework.

Anyone who could speak any English at all was in high demand on the jobs market. The premise was that they could learn skills on the job. Portuguese and Tetum are the official languages and English and Bahasa Indonesia are acknowledged as ‘working’ languages. Also, rural Timor-Leste people are highly likely to speak a local dialect as their first language, so this linguistic fruit salad is a further challenge in an already complicated training context.