The Vanuatu Rural Development and Training Centres Association (VRDTCA) provides vocational training in carpentry, health, hospitality, mechanics and more through Rural Training Centres (RTCs).

They currently manage 40 RTCs. Since 2003, Oxfam has built eight new RTCs. We are currently working with VRDTCA to upgrade three RTCs to meet the growing educational and water and sanitation needs of students and local communities. Oxfam is helping VRDTCA to increase
the number of young people taking up vocational training and to provide a healthy and safe environment for students.

Oxfam works in partnership with VRDTCA to train young people in skills that fit their community’s demands.

We are:

  • Training local people to teach valuable, practical skills to young people, incuding home economics, health, hospitality, small business management, agriculture, mechanics and carpentry
  • Ensuring students have opportunities to put their skills into practice. Carpentry students, for instance, will build furniture for RTCs and farming students take over the  hands-on management of small plots of land

In depth: boosting skills

Meet Kency

Young people like 19-year old Kency Philip studying at the Pektel RTC in northwest Malekula are learning new skills so they can build a useful career.

Kency tells us: “I attended primary school up to Year 6 (age 12), but then I failed my exam and was pushed out of the school system. I wanted to work and help my family, but I didn’t have any skills to do anything in the village. Then I heard about the Pektel RTC and I saw and heard that trainees who came to this RTC are serious in their careers.”

“I want to achieve my certificate to become a carpenter,” says Kency. “Learning carpentry and furniture making are life skills that I will always be able to use. I want to build my own house or to work in a company to earn income for myself and my family.”

The Pektel RTC currently enrols students in mechanics, carpentry, agriculture, community education, small business and tourism and hospitality courses. And with Oxfam’s support, they have recently upgraded their facilities – constructing a new, cyclone-proof, three-classroom building, installing two 10,000-litre water tanks, and building a semi-permanent toilet.

Albert Henry, the Manager of Pektel RTC, tells us: “I am really happy to see the permanent classroom and water system complete. It really improves the RTC infrastructure. It is a good advertisement for the Pektel RTC and will encourage more trainees to join us in the future. And the water tanks and sanitation facilities will provide safe water improve the health of the whole community.”


  • Oxfam has funded and helped build eight RTCs. Every year, these centres give over 500 students the opportunity to learn practical skills that will help them get jobs and build a decent future.
  • There has been a 65 per cent increase in female enrolment in 2013-14.
  • The RTCs double as community centres at night and on weekends for adult learning classes and church meetings.