A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU was signed between the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and Air Vanuatu yesterday to boost the number of pilots in Vanuatu.

The MOU set the framework for Air Vanuatu and MOET to implement a Pilot Training and Development Program (PDP)that will compliment the shared vision for the Aviation and Tourism Sectors of producing 140 pilots by 2030.

PDP is developed by Air Vanuatu and funded by the MOET’s Scholarship Unit. As part of the PDP, Air Vanuatu will be responsible for identifying and selecting pilot training academics, developing a rigorous application and selection process, and ensuring that Ni-Vanuatu pilots who graduated successfully from the program can find employment at Air Vanuatu.

The MOET will be funding scholarships for the chosen flight academics.The MOET will also review, approve and sign agreements and contracts with the training academics.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Air Vanuatu, Derek Nice, said the program will support the smooth operation of Air Vanuatu for the next years and will boost the number of Ni-Vanuatu qualified pilots.

“Air Vanuatu is committed to this agreement to train locals so that when they return home they will immediately fly the national carrier.

“We hope that the program can be reduplicated in other sectors”, he said.

The Minister of Education and Training, Jean Pierre Nirua, stressed that the government has funded pilot training in the past years but could not cover the cost of all applicants interested in pursuing careers in the aviation sector. The Director General (DG) of the MOET, Bergmans Iati, said the MOET will be exploring other avenues to support the program.

Minister Nirua announced plans for further collaborating with the private sector and financial institutions as the banks and the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) to ease the government’s financial burden of providing scholarships every year.

Yesterday’s MOU signing was a result of last year’s dialogue on the PDP pilot program.

Under the agreement, Air Vanuatu and MOU will establish a steering committee to manage and oversee its operation. This committee will review the progress of collaborative activities and projects, as well as identity an prioritize new opportunities for collaboration.

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