AUSTRALIA TO INVEST $114 MILLION IN NEW FIJI COLLEGE

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SYDNEY, Australia (Australian Broadcasting Corp, Oct. 25) - Australia is to invest AU$150 million [US$114 million] over the next four years in technical and further education in the Pacific.

Australia's South Pacific College will be based in Fiji, with regional training centers in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Samoa.

Enrolments will commence next year, offering fully accredited Australian courses managed by AusAID.

The Prime Minister says this kind of education-based employment initiative contrasts with New Zealand's decision to re-launch a seasonal work scheme for Pacific Islanders.

"I would hope that a lot of these people end up using their skills in their own economies," he said, "We think it's an extremely valuable, practical contribution to lifting the skills base."

Around 3,000 students will graduate from the college over the next four years.

ABC News Online: http://www.abc.net.au/news/

© 2006 ABC. All Rights Reserved

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