Australia’s flagship technical and vocational regional program, the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), was awarded the prestigious World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Awards of Excellence in the category of Access to Learning and Employment.
The WFCP Awards of Excellence recognise outstanding contributions made by member institutions to achieving the vision of the WFCP and celebrating accomplishments in the global colleges and polytechnics sector.
The award was presented to APTC in Melbourne on 9 October 2018. Since it began in 2007, APTC has been providing quality training to develop skills for Pacific islanders to access improved employment and livelihoods, including some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and those from geographically remote places in the Pacific
To date, APTC has trained over 13,000 Pacific graduates, of which, 41 per cent are females.
Over the last 11 years, APTC, managed by TAFE Queensland, has successfully delivered the largest Australian Government education aid and development project in the Pacific region. TAFE Queensland had endorsed APTC’s nomination for the WFCP Awards of Excellence.
TAFE Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Ms Mary Campbell congratulated APTC, and said, TAFE Queensland is proud to be working with APTC in delivering Australian skills and qualifications in the Pacific.
“As managing contractor, TAFE Queensland works closely with APTC to deliver the vision of the Australian Government to enhance Pacific prosperity through a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce,” Ms Campbell said.
“A key part of APTC’s success has been its ability to work in partnership with relevant stakeholders and industry partners to deliver demand-driven, Australian-standard training to develop a competitive workforce.
“Together, TAFE Queensland and APTC are changing lives for graduates, their workplaces and communities in the Australia-Pacific Island region,” she said.
Ms Campbell said that TAFE Queensland looks forward to working more closely with APTC in the new third phase.
The third phase will see APTC continue with the delivery of high quality, internationally recognised training that ensures graduates have improved employment outcomes but also focus on supporting greater investment in skills training and higher quality TVET delivery across the Pacific.
APTC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Soli Middleby said the award is a milestone recognition for APTC and its holistic approach in addressing the challenge of access to quality training in the Pacific region.
“APTC has embraced a partnering approach, working with governments, TVET institutions, private sector and NGOs to ensure that training meets labour market demands and produces job-ready graduates,” she said.
Ms Middleby thanked the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and TAFE Queensland for their ongoing support and commitment. She added that APTC will continue to deliver on its goal of contributing to a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce that enhances Pacific prosperity.
TAFE Queensland Executive Director - International Development and Contractor Representative, Ms Denise O’Brien said that the award celebrates excellence in professional and technical education and training.
“Over the years, APTC has demonstrated leadership in the Pacific TVET sector through flexibility and responsiveness to the changing needs for skills development. As a TVET program, APTC provides a blueprint for increasing access to learning and employment for Pacific Island citizens,” she added.
As part of the 2018 WFCP World Congress, APTC facilitated a breakout thematic session, which focused on ‘TVET Transforming Lives for Pacific Island Citizens’.
The session was chaired by Ms O’Brien and panellists included: APTC’s first female Carpentry Trainer from Vanuatu, Ms Gail Tamakam, APTC’s TVET partner, The University of the South Pacific – Pacific Technical and Further Education Director, Mr Hasmukh Lal and Mark One Apparel Managing Director, Mr Mark Halabe.
The panellists discussed how TVET could facilitate more opportunities for industries and enhance personal and professional growth, relating to their own diverse experiences.
Also highlighted during the panel discussion was the importance of partnerships between TVET providers like APTC and USP, as well as industries, civil society, private sector and Pacific governments, to deliver demand-driven training that will result in better employment outcomes.
The 2018 WFCP World Congress, hosted in conjunction with TAFE Directors Australia, brought together community colleges and polytechnics from around the world and experts in professional and vocational education and training.
The three-day event looked at new challenges in vocational and professional education and training, arising from advances in technologies and automation and the impact on work, societies and peoples due to changing economic and global circumstances.