One year ago, Solomon Islands’ first Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus was launched at Don Bosco Technical Institute, boosting training and skills development opportunities for Solomon Islanders.
Since then more than 93 students have enrolled in Certificate II courses in carpentry and automotive serviceswhich are accredited to Australian standards.
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa,Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Several students from Don Bosco’s first year program are now gaining industry experience in preparation for the Certificate III APTC course to be delivered from July 2014.
In line with Solomon Islands’ Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development standards, 44 students are completing 1360 hours of on the job training.
Bundy Pituvaka and Joses Ete are both 23 years old and have long dreamed of becoming mechanics. Since December 2013, they have been undertaking on the job automotive training at Ela Motors, helping to repair more than 50 cars a week.
Their supervisor, Milton Wate says they have learnt a lot and they are taking on more responsibility in the workshop.
“Since day one they have continually improved. The more time they spend here, the more they get to experience and learn.”
Bundy says he has picked up new skills at the workshop, like electrical wiring and how to work with electronics, as well as confidence.
“Our future is bright because of this course and our training. Every day [that] I work, I learn a new thing. I feel good about my future,” stated Bundy.
Listan Filamona and John Jack Houanihau are also pursuing on the job training in carpentry and construction with Lico Quin Solomon Steel. Their colleague, Joash Jack is also a graduate of APTC, having studied at its Papua New Guinea campus.
“It’s been great learning how to make wall and ceiling framing and how to do timber work”, Listan says.
“The work I am doing now on site is making use of what I learnt at APTC and will make it easier to get a job,” John Jack says. “APTC is also helping to improve standards in Solomons.”
Since 2007 when the APTC was established, more than 600 Solomon Islanders have graduated from APTC courses with the skills, training and confidence to take advantage of job opportunities, either in Solomon Islands or in the region
Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times Online)