It often happens that employers snap up the brightest students in a graduation year, but to be offered a job before you graduate? Now that’s a real compliment.
It’s a compliment that’s been paid to two construction students in the School of Trades and Technology from the Suva campus of the Australia-Pacific Technical College. Josua Katonibau and Kalusiani Tuivuya have had signed contracts to work with the Fiji National University (FNU) as carpentry trainers. And they graduated from the APTC only about a week ago.
Specifically, they’ll be working with the FNU’s National Training & Productivity Centre, the national TVET provider of technical training in Fiji.
“I am proud of these two students,” says their Tutor, Paka Wakanivonoloa. “Their employer has realised the value of their potential even before they graduated. It’s an indication of the high regard in which APTC training is held.”
Josua and Kalusiani, both from Fiji, started their new jobs about a month ago. They’ll be working in the mountainous Fiji Highlands province of Namosi, west of Suva. Because the university has no campus there Josua and Kalusiani will conduct their classes in a village hall. Their students will be local people interested in learning carpentry practice and theory. “Josua and Kalusiani will be teaching and showing others, from villages and rural areas, the skills they learnt at the APTC,” says Paka. They will live locally and the villagers will supply them with food.
The Director of the APTC’s School of Trades and Technology, James Knynenburg, points out that “through their experiences gained with APTC and new standards learnt, the training provided by Josua and Kalusiani will create a pathway for the their own students to gain a place with APTC in the future.”
Josua and Kalusiani were both working in their trade when they applied to enrol at the APTC to expand and improve their skills. They’ve now completed their course of three “blocks” of seven-week training periods. They were both searching for better-paid work when the FNU offer came through.
“This is an excellent example of the APTC making a difference,” says James Knynenburg. Part of the APTC’s purpose is to give an opportunity to people already working in their vocational field to upgrade their skills and thus improve their employment opportunities. Further, by training people such as Josua and Kalusiani who will then be able to train others, the APTC, which is funded by the Australian Government, is assisting economic development in the 14 countries in the Pacific region where it teaches.