Pacific Islanders to benefit from partnership

Pacific Islanders will benefit from improved livelihoods and opportunities through skills development, thanks to a partnership between University of the South Pacific and the Australia-Pacific Training Coalition.

The partnership was signed at the U.S.P. Laucala Campus last Friday.

The partnership marks the first in a new approach A.P.T.C. is taking to its engagement with T.V.E.T. institutions and other partners across the region. 

The new approach to partnerships recognises the shared objectives of both partners, and the intention to establish, manage and protect a genuine, collaborative and cooperative relationship based on a shared vision for skills development and the prosperity of Pacific islanders.

The partnership with U.S.P. builds on the success of the first agreement, signed between U.S.P. and A.P.T.C. in 2014, which focused on capacity-building, shared investments and facilities. A key achievement under that agreement was the establishment of the Pacific Fusion Restaurant, which is jointly used by both institutions to provide high quality training to cookery and hospitality students. 

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Since the 2014 agreement, Pacific TAFE has become a Registered Training Organisation (R.T.O.) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (A.S.Q.A.), and APTC’s phase three includes an expanded mandate of deeper engagement and collaboration with national and regional institutions. Going forward, the two partners commit to a shared vision for skills development under the agreement signed on Friday. 

The Vice-Chancellor and president of U.S.P., Professor Rajesh Chandra, said the agreement is a radical and game-changing one, as U.S.P. partnered with TAFE Queensland. 

He explained that USP’s Pacific TAFE won confidence to be part of TAFE Queensland’s development of APTC’s third phase through its internationally accredited and recognised programmes, and unwavering focus on demand-driven labour market programmes. 

“In this third phase of A.P.T.C., USP’s Pacific TAFE will deliver programmes in selected areas and play a role in strengthening skills development across the region,” he said.

The partnership will also result in Pacific TAFE and A.P.T.C. embarking on a shared approach to develop knowledge and analysis around labour markets and skills needs for current and future planning and policy development.

“We value our relationship with U.S.P. and other training providers across the region because A.P.T.C. shares the belief that T.V.E.T. is essential for improving Pacific livelihoods and opportunities for employment and further studies. We look forward to a successful partnership with USP’s Pacific TAFE and continuing our collaboration with stakeholders going forward to benefit T.V.E.T., students and industry and enable a sustainable and prosperous Pacific,” said APTC Chief Executive Officer, Soli Middleby.  

Similar comments were shared by U.S.P. Pacific TAFE Chief Executive Officer, Hasmukh Lal, who said the partnership will allow both partners to act as champions and advocate for each other and more importantly for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in the Pacific region.

“It will further allow the partners to maintain a commitment to skilling and upskilling and increasing the productivity of workers across the region, promote the socio-economic development benefits of TVET and take on a more coherent approach to engagement on TVET at the national level,” he added.

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