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Singapore has signed an agreement with the Royal Government of Bhutan on the establishment of Model Technical Training Centres (MTTC) as part of growing between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Sonam Tobgay, Director of Bilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan, and Simon Wong, Ambassador of Singapore to Bhutan. It is seen as one of the outcomes of Bhutan’s opening up to the outside world. India with whom Bhutan has a special relationship has warm ties with Singapore with the city state setting up vocational training institutes for Indian youth in places like Rajasthan and Assam in recent years.

The agreement with Bhutan stipulates that Singapore will establish the two MTTCs which will offer high quality practice-oriented skills training for Bhutanese youths to meet the growing demand for skilled manpower in Automotive Technology (AT) and Facility Technology - Mechanical and Electrical (FT-ME), a person familiar with the matter said. The AT programme will be implemented at the MTTC that is to be set up in Thimphu and the FT-ME programme will be implemented at the second MTTC in Khuruthang. The two together are expected to train up to 160 students every year.

“The agreement is a testament to the close ties between Singapore and Bhutan. The King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck visited the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Singapore, in 2015. Since then, there have been frequent exchanges between Bhutan and Singapore on Technical and Vocational Education and Training. The agreement is the result of years of collaboration," the person cited above said.

“His Majesty the King’s clear and forward-looking vision for Bhutan, and his support for the Singapore-Bhutan relationship, have made this initiative possible. The agreement we signed today on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, reflects our two countries’ shared understanding that human capital is a key resource," Wong said. “It is timely for us to launch this collaboration now, as we look to emerge from the global pandemic. It will complement Bhutan’s broad efforts in enabling the youth of the nation to fulfill their potential," he said.

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