A one-month plumbing training delivered in Santo, Vanuatu doubled as a community development project with the construction of an amenity block at Bombua High School, which currently accommodates Londua Technical College after the Ambae Volcano eruption.
The Torgil Rural Training Centre (RTC), worked in partnership with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP), and Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), which are both funded by the Australian Government, to coordinate the delivery of the training to 16 participants, resulting in the installation of plumbing systems for Bombua High School and Teproma Community.
The accredited training, consisting of four units for Certificate II in Plumbing, involved a mixture of theory and practical learning. The new amenity block includes two toilets, a bathroom and three laundry sinks and three community water taps.
The Partnership Director, Fremden Yanhambath said it was encouraging to see institutions collaborating to deliver community needs.
“It is very exciting to see both APTC and Vanuatu Skills Partnership working together to support Torgil RTC, a local training provider, to deliver an accredited course that is of high demand,” he said.
The project also saw Torgil RTC participants, UNICEF and the Bombua community join forces leading up to the successful construction of the amenity block.
Torgil’s commercial cookery trainees supplied lunch each day while carpentry trainees helped build tank stands and doorframes. UNICEF supplied shower and washbasin resources while local electricians volunteered to fix pumps and solar panels.
APTC and Torgil RTC affiliated plumbing trainer, James Matariki, emphasised the importance of teamwork while training the participants.
“All participants in this training have had the chance to lead the team and implement their leadership skills,” he said.
“This leadership role rotates amongst participants each day and we can see improvements in their leadership management as we complete the shared achievement in plumbing in Bombua and Teproma areas.”
APTC alumnus, Alphonse Wanemay, who now owns a private construction company, Tropical Wood Construction, said the training was much more than a skill enhancement.
“This training helps me to work better with other experienced workers in this trade, share knowledge, learn and lead a team towards a common goal.”
APTC Vocational Training Manager for Vanuatu and Nauru, Natasha Murray, said such projects can address community needs while also providing upskilling opportunities for participants.
“By the end of the training, we hope to see more qualified plumbers in Vanuatu,” she said.
“And we are also looking forward to the new flush toilets and sanitary facilities available at the Bombua High School, and new water system instalments for Ambae communities living in Teproma community.”