US$17.7 million project to create new national academy and increase access to training and employment for thousands of Micronesians
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2022 – Access to quality vocational and skills training for job seekers in Micronesia will receive a significant boost under a newly approved World Bank Project. The US$17.7 million Skills and Employability Enhancement Project will address a lack of access to technical and vocational training and improve the employability and opportunities for job-seeking Micronesians, including through the establishment of a new national institution, the FSM Skills Academy.
Unemployment remains high in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), particularly among young people, and job seekers frequently migrate to other countries for work, especially to the United States. To address the lack of opportunities and skills gaps among job seekers, the project will directly address key challenges facing the technical and vocational training sector in the country.
“We are proud to be supporting the government of FSM to unlock the full potential of Micronesian technical and vocational skills graduates through our new skills and employment project,” said Degi Young, World Bank Resident Representative for the Federated States of Micronesia. “The project will have an immense benefit for job seekers and educators, but I am very pleased that it will also see around 4,000 high school age Micronesians have their opportunities expanded including those from outer-islands and students with disabilities.”
The project includes direct financial support to students for living allowances and travel or relocations costs, grants to vocational institutions and information campaigns on educational opportunities for outer-island and low-income families.
It will also focus on the quality of training available by supporting the government to establish the new FSM Skills Academy, assist with curriculum development and improve training and support for educators so students get better outcomes from their skills education.
“We welcome this new assistance from the World Bank. The government has worked with the World Bank on project design, using cutting edge evidence of ‘what works’ in skills development and employment interventions elsewhere in the world,” said Gardenia Aisek, Secretary of the FSM Department of Education. “Strong government involvement and input has brought FSM’s unique context together with this expertise for long-term solutions for our employment and education system.”
The project employs a ‘full-scale’ approach that proceeds all the way through to job placement. This will be achieved through improvements to labor market information and job search assistance services.
“We are pleased to see this project responds directly to the needs of the FSM labor market while ensuring benefits and access to education will reach all of those seeking to further their skills and find employment,” said Hon. Eugene Amor, Secretary Department of Finance & Administration. “The focus on women and girls entering the labor market and performance grants for FSM’s technical and vocational institutions are a positive step for the sector and we look forward to seeing the project roll out.”
The project also includes an option for the government to reallocate project resources in the event of an emergency or natural disasters, ensuring FSM can quickly and effectively respond to crises and disasters when they occur.