A.P.T.C. striving to change perceptions of technical training

The Australian Pacific Training Coalition (A.P.T.C.) recognises that more investment is needed for people to receive high quality training.

Speaking during a press conference, A.P.T.C. Chief Executive Officer, Soli Middleby said one of the institute's focus is promoting quality skills training and changing people's perceptions on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (T.V.E.T.).

"Not seeing it as a second choice but the first choice, is a really strong part of this phase.

"We know that Samoa needs its doctors and lawyers and accountants and that’s true but equally important, all economies need skilled vocational competent workers. 

"We need electricians and plumbers, we need people to build our houses, and paint and tiled and able to care for our elderly and our disabled, educate our young children and of course, you know public service and private sectors need great front line managers and the demand for the sort of skills the students are learning here in the visions restaurant are just always such high demand," she said.

A.P.T.C. Director Cheri Robinson Moors added that one way the institute would like to change people's perceptions of T.V.E.T. and talk of its success stories and the impact that its graduates were making in the community. 

Formerly known as the Australia Pacific Technical College, A.P.T.C. delivers training to over 1,200 Pacific Islanders including Samoans each year, according to Ms. Middleby.

"I guess to talk more about the shift from the last phase to this phase first, as I said it’s a training coalition and I think you know how our name used to be Australian Pacific Technical College and now we’re the Australian Pacific Training Coalition.

"So what that means as I said is that we’re reaching out to local education stakeholders and providers to support local efforts and improving training and trainer excellence. So were doing this both at a national level and the regional level," she said.

 Ms. Middleby said the institute is pursuing three outcomes, these include improved employment outcomes, improved investment in skill training and the quality provision by its partners. 

"So with Samoa joining the Pacific Labour Scheme, A.P.T.C. is working closely with the Samoa government and the Pacific Labour Facility to try and develop a really strong pathway between Australian employers and Samoan A.P.T.C. graduates

"As I said for us our role is really to abide by the policies and priorities set by the Samoan government in relation to how it’s gonna engage on the pacific labour scheme and to coordinate really closely with them in the pacific labour facility, to link up skilled Samoan graduates with Australian employers. 

"So we’ll work in close collaboration to ensure what we call in A.P.T.C. a net skill gain for Samoa. So this means that we do everything we can to make sure that local member markets are not adversely affected by workers migrating overseas," said Ms. Middleby.

The A.P.T.C. has been providing vocational training across the region for 12 years and they are committed to becoming a coherent part of the training systems in Samoa and in the region in the future, she added. 

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