It’s easy to overlook the fact few schools around the world teach students the computer skills they require in the workforce. The computer training industry is growing as a result. In the United States alone the computer training industry is growing by 5.7% annually and is now valued at $2.4 billion.
This seems surprising given people grow up with a mobile phone in their hand and many have access to computer. The truth is children use these devices more for entertainment. It was this insight that led Patricia Aimapa, to start the Afore Computer Training Institute in Popondetta.
Speaking to a group of 45 people at the Tech Community Meetup on Tuesday 13 August, Patricia spoke about the need to increase computer skills and digital literacy. Similarly, she spoke about the need to improve the ICT skills of people within the workforce.
Determined to address this gap, Patricia’s approach was to start small but think big. She started by rebuilding old computers to give to students. Wanting to do more, Patricia soon developed a more formal training program to provide quality computer training at an affordable price.
“My job is to train people to help them to work and make them job ready, said Patricia. In addition to training in fundamental computer software, such as Microsoft Office, Afore Computer Training Institute teaches students how to use the internet to solve problems.
“The internet is the best university in the world. If you know how to search the internet you can do anything,” said Patricia.
Patricia represents a growing number of entrepreneurs in PNG who are finding innovative solutions to real world problems. She is also a participant in the Australian Government supported Techlab PNG Accelerator Program where she is receiving additional support and coaching to help her business grow.