The first cohort of Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Hospitality and Tourism students studying in PNG, have begun their training at the new Hospitality training facility at APTC’s PNG campus.
Construction of the new Hospitality and Tourism facility at the APTC campus located at the Port Moresby Technical College (POMTECH) was completed in July 2014, valued at K5.6m. The facility will be officially opened in September and it is anticipated that Australian Foreign Affairs officials will officiate.
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.
Having the facility in PNG now means that PNG students can be trained in the country. This would be preferable for local PNG students, rather than having to study at APTC’s Vanuatu, Fiji or Samoa campuses. The first participants in the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery program, are employees from the various Coral Sea Group hotels around the country. These include Grand Papua, Gateway, Ela Beach, Bird of Paradise, Melanesian, Huon Gulf and Highlander. These participants will graduate in December.
Crystal Kulevina, 24, from Eastern Highlands is an apprentice kitchen hand employed by Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka who said: “I am greatful that I am being trained through the APTC program and being one of the pioneer students to use the new facilities. I have been with Bird of Paradise for 4 years and am privileged that the training through APTC will build my potential to becoming a qualified chef. I thank my sponsor and employer Coral Sea Group and look forward to putting to good use at the Bird of Paradise the skills I gain here”.
“Having this new facility is a bonus for PNG. It is also the first of its kind here having all the high tech equipment and it is an honour for me to be part of the APTC training here,” APTC Commercial Cookery tutor Nanai Sinemaue said. Ms Sinemaue, from Gaire in Central Province, is a seasonal chef by profession and graduated with an APTC Certificate III in Training and Assessment in May this year. In a previous interview, Ms Sinemaue said: “I will be with APTC as long as APTC remains in PNG so that I can contribute to our country’s human resource”. Prior to joining APTC, she was a trainer with Fubilan Catering Services at the Ok Tedi Mine in Western Province.
APTC Commercial Cookery Specialist Trainer Steve Johnston has been a chef and trainer for nearly 40 years having worked in various major hospitality and tourism training institutions in Australia. He has been with APTC for 7 years between APTC Fiji and Samoa. His last APTC posting was in Samoa. Mr Johnston is ecstatic to be teaching in PNG. He looks forward to ensuring that what he teaches is fully absorbed by his students and for them to develop capacity when they return to their various employers around PNG.
“I am really privileged, firstly as one of the first students to be trained at this new APTC Hospitality and Tourism facility and also to be trained by Mr Johnston who is an international APTC cookery trainer,” said Jim McCamish, 26, who has been with Grand Papua Hotel employed as a steward and chef for 3 years. He added, “I thank Coral Sea for this opportunity and I look forward to gaining as much here at APTC and to later provide the best at the Grand Papua”.