WAM trainees Reghie Lucky, March Enos ,Janen Torelik, and Jeitha Jennop. Photo: Karen Earnshaw

Internships pay off for trainees

WAM trainee Neil Lakmij with instructor Binton Daniel. Photo Karen Earnshaw

WAM trainee Neil Lakmij with instructor Binton Daniel. Photo Karen Earnshaw

At least six Waan Aelon in Majel trainees are guaranteed jobs after they graduate on Friday, October 2, with the potential of 12 jobs being available, according to WAM Director Alson Kelen.

“All of the trainees did internships during this six-month training program and this really paid off for us, with six being promised jobs and two of those already working on the weekends.” Alson said. “If everything goes well, there will be 12 job openings by the time graduation day comes around.”

Twenty youth have spent the last six months learning vocational skills from cultural instructor Binton Daniel and literacy and numeracy from GED teacher Agatha Rollis. “They do two hours a day of English and math. The rest of the time is spent doing hands-on work,” Alson said. This has included building a 27-foot tipnol canoe. “It’s made mainly of plywood because of the shortage of breadfruit trees to use for canoe building. That’s because the canoe tree is also a food tree.”

This year’s group of trainees has been a great group, Alson said. “They have been very open to learning and right from the start they clearly wanted to participate. Over the years, I’ve seen a growth in the amount of English the trainees have and their ability to stand up in front of a group and do presentations.”

All our welcome to attend the graduation, which will be held at 3pm on October 2 next to WAM at the MIR picnic area.


Learning curve for Linton in Taiwan

Carpenter Linton Baso is being groomed to be a leader in the Waan Aelon in Majel program and is currently adding to his skills at a training workshop in Taipei, Taiwan. “We are very fortunate at WAM that we have a good partnership with the ROC. I have been on a number of excellent workshops in Taiwan, and now Linton is there doing a Level II Carpentry course,” said WAM Director Alson Kelen.

The course is being presented by Taiwan’s International Community Development Fund, with the selection of trainees being partly handled by the RMI National Training Council. “Two years ago, Linton did a six-month course with the Australian Pacific Technical College in Suva, Fiji. He came back with a lot of great skills from that and we’re hoping for the same this time. Linton has a lot of potential.”