Marañon upbeat on partnership with Australian firms

NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. expressed optimism on the development brought by the partnerships of the Provincial Government with three companies from the Northern Territory, Australia.

Marañon led the signing of partnership agreements for skills training and transfer venture with the foreign firms in rites held at Sugarland Hotel in Bacolod City Tuesday, June 27.

The Provincial Government is partnering with Group Training Northern Territory and Australian Skills Institute, which was represented by its chief executive officer and chairperson Kathryn Stenson, for skills training and collaborations.

The Capitol is also working with the International College of Advanced Education for the implementation of international study and work program in the province. The firm was represented by its chief executive officer Sean Mahoney.

Marañon called the partnership a “win-win situation, saying that “they need labor, we need employment.”

The governor said the Provincial Government will help “facilitate” qualified students, especially those who are hardworking and willing to go an extra mile, to join the program.

He added that the Northern Territory is more than four times the size of the Philippines, but its population is only half the size of Bacolod.

The governor said the Provincial Government had been collaborating with the Australian outback territory since 2002 when they explored an open trade agreement in agriculture and livestock.

He added that the partnerships are an offshoot of his recent visit to Australia.

“I hope and pray this relationship will grow and prosper for the benefit of the two countries,” the governor added.

Mahoney, for his part, said that Negrense workers who will be employed will get a rate of 23 to 30 Australian dollar per hour (P800 to P1,000).

Annually, workers can earn up to P1.5 million, he added.

He said that hospitality and tourism-related skills are the largest employment sector in his country, adding that they have huge demand for these industry sectors.

Stenson, meanwhile, said the students they will train will acquire the same level of competencies in Australia, which will open opportunities to the global market.

Through this partnership, the foreign firms are eyeing to bring local teachers to immerse themselves in Australia for one month, adding that they will become ambassadors of the program, she added.

The activity was also attended by Philippine Consul General to Northern Territory Januario Rivas, representatives of different schools, and local officials.
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