YANGON, MYANMAR - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the Singapore-Myanmar Vocational Training Institute (SMVTI) here on Thursday (June 9) morning.
He visited the institute on the third and final day of his official visit to Myanmar, and toured the campus.
The school, located on the site of a former polytechnic in downtown Yangon, trains Myanmar youth to be skilled workers.
It will take in a total of 800 students over two cohorts every year.
Modelled after Singapore's Institute of Technical Education, the SMVTI offers six-month hands-on courses in hospitality and tourism, electrical skills and electronics, facilities management and engineering services.
It also helps match its graduates with relevant jobs in Myanmar.
About 40 per cent of the pioneer batch of 400 students who graduated last month have since found jobs or internships.
Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung, who is part of the Singapore delegation to Myanmar, yesterday planted a mahogany tree on the campus grounds.
Mr Ong told reporters that the institute is Singapore's way of helping Myanmar, especially since Singapore has some experience in training workers.
"Myanmar is going through a very special period of its history. A lot of transitional issues - the democratising process as well as the liberalising of its economy to be more market oriented," he said, adding that it was meaningful for Singapore to contribute to Myanmar in this period.
"We live in Asean and Asean is one big family," he said.
"We meet all the time over a range of issues, we find common causes in many issues of the world. And when each other need help, we will extend our help."