His Excellency Jeremy Bruer, Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu and the Director General of the Ministry of Health, Mr Howard Aru opened the Vanuatu College of Nurse Education (VCNE), which was part of Stage II of the project, in Port Vila Vanuatu on January 31.
The construction of the building was funded by AusAID for the Vanuatu Ministry of Health with labour force being provided by the Vanuatu Mobile Force Engineers (VMF) and the Department of Corrections with support from New Zealand Defence and NZAID. Training for the VMF construction workers was provided by the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in partnership with NZ Defence with 11 APTC carpentry graduates from the VMF working on site throughout the construction. The project also provided a real life-training venue for 15 new APTC carpentry trainees from the VMF, Vanuatu Department of Health and Vanuatu Department of Corrections.
These trainees will graduate from APTC with their qualification in Certificate III in Carpentry in Port Vila this April. The newly trained carpentry force will provide much needed support to disaster recovery, re-construction and refurbishment of buildings in Vanuatu.
The final painting contract was awarded to APTC Painting and Decorating graduate, Ms Vicky Vanva who along with her team of employees put the finishing touches on the building. The quality of Vicky’s work and her business acumen is also evident in the recently repainted Luganville Municipal Council Building in Santo.
The foundation stone for the VCNE classrooms was laid in February 2012 and the building was opened in time for the new 2013 intake of 32 nursing trainees who start their three-year Diploma in Nursing in February this year. The project is a glowing example of how government agencies, donors and the private sector can work collaboratively to achieve great things – quality education and training facilities, training opportunities and skills development and the enhancement of private sector businesses and entrepreneurship.
The success of this onsite carpentry course has generated interest amongst the local industry and APTC Vanuatu hopes to conduct similar courses in future. The APTC is funded by the Australian Government. It has campuses and teaching centres throughout the Pacific region, enters into partnerships with other regional centres to widen the availability of the courses and skills it offers.