TBILISI, DFWatch – From this year, Georgians who sign up with a private or vocational school for learning a new profession will receive a 1 000 lari voucher from the government.

This was announced by President Mikheil Saakashvili during an annual speech to parliament February 28.

Saakashvili said it will be hard to increase the number of employed people, if not care is taken to permanently increase the competitive environment.

“Professional retraining has a really big importance. The government is obliged to create appropriate conditions for employment,” Saakashvili said.

New education centers are being built. In 2012, five new vocational schools will be opened.

“In addition, we will start vocational training and professional orientation program. With this program, twenty thousand people in Georgia’s twenty cities will have free training according to profession, in English language and computer skills,” Saakashvili said.