Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) CEO, Soli Middleby, made the comment during the signing of a partnership agreement between the Australian-funded Vanuatu Skills Partnership and Australian-funded APTC to strengthen Vanuatu’s national technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and support inclusive skills pathways.
Ms Middleby added this was the first partnership agreement under the APTC TVET System Strengthening Platform (TSSP) Incentive Fund and both parties have set the bar high. APTC has established the Incentive Fund to support and incentivise TVET reform initiatives by APTC’s partners where they emerge and catalyse new thinking.
The official signing follows a series of bilateral consultations, as well as multi-stakeholder meetings including the Ministry of Education and Training, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA), and the Australian-funded Vanuatu Education Support Programme II (VESP II). Additional discussions between APTC, the Vanuatu Government’s Department of Labour and the Australian Government’s Pacific Labour Facility contributed to the development of a component for strengthening adult language literacy and numeracy across Vanuatu.
APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Anna Naupa, acknowledged that APTC and the Vanuatu Skills Partnership have collaborated since 2014 and that this signing further highlights their shared commitment to TVET and skills development for Vanuatu.
“Recognising the great contributions made by the Vanuatu Skills Partnership in the TVET sector, APTC will continue to support TVET system strengthening through leadership and management upskilling for Skills Centre Managers,” Ms Naupa said.
“We will support the development of VQA-accredited courses that address skills gaps and build capacity of adult language literacy and numeracy practitioners in Vanuatu.”
Speaking to a room filled with TVET advocates, Director for the Vanuatu Skills Partnership, Fremden Yanhambath, acknowledged the long-standing relationship between the Vanuatu Skills Partnership and APTC, as well as the most recent agreement for sharing expertise and resources to pilot VQA-accredited Certificate II-level plumbing training in rural Vanuatu.
“The first ever VQA-accredited plumbing training is a testament to the possibilities through partnership and collaboration with APTC,” he remarked.
“We’re called ‘the Vanuatu Skills Partnership’ for a reason, and that is to partner up with key stakeholders such as APTC at any time, to continue strengthening the TVET system and address skill gaps in Vanuatu.”
The Australian High Commission’s Senior Programme Manager for Education, Christelle Thieffry, reiterated Australia’s commitment to support skills development in Vanuatu through the Vanuatu Skills Partnership and APTC.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Skills Centre Managers during a workshop hosted by the Vanuatu Skills Partnership.