Fiji’s construction sector will soon benefit from strengthened and standardised National Qualifications in Carpentry after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between the Australia-Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), the Fiji National University (FNU), the Fiji Higher Education Commission (FHEC) and the Construction Industry Council (CIC).
The MoU was developed after the FHEC identified the need to review and strengthen Fiji National Qualifications for the construction sector. This led to the signing of today’s agreement, under which the four signatory organisations are collaborating to review, develop and deliver National Qualifications in Carpentry from Certificate Levels 1 - 4 for the Fiji construction sector.
Under the MoU, the four signatory organisations will collaborate to deliver sector-wide National Qualifications, while building a strong alliance in line with each organisation’s strategic goals and values, as well as supporting national government priorities.
APTC Country Director for Fiji and Tuvalu, Mr Jovesa Saladoka, said the MoU is an opportunity to demonstrate APTC’s support for local training providers and institutions.
APTC’s involvement in this review will support the process, in particular through the comparative analysis with the relevant Australian qualifications in Carpentry.
“For APTC, it is about reaffirming our role in supporting local institutions and staff to deliver qualifications and skill sets that are benchmarked against national standards, as well as advocating for standards that are marketable within and beyond Fiji,” Mr Saladoka said.
FHEC Interim Director, Dr Nikhat Shameem, said the partnership signaled by the MoU between the APTC, CIC, FNU and FHEC is a milestone in the development and implementation of National Qualifications in the construction industry.
“It will ensure that the standards of learning and teaching and the learning outcomes set through the qualifications are being shared by all four partners, meaning a much greater liaison and accountability between the construction industry, FHEC and the Higher Education Institutions, FNU and APTC. FHEC welcomes this move,” she said.
FNU Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Healey, said that the University already had a very close partnership with APTC, FHEC and CIC, and collaborated on a number of fronts.
“FNU has a long history of providing technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to meet the needs of employers and support the economic development of the nation,” he noted. “With the boom in the construction industry in Fiji, we are very keen to see how we can extend our partnership with APTC, FHEC and CIC to design new, internationally benchmarked National Qualifications which can be delivered by a wider range of education and training providers.”
CIC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Vijay Naidu, said that the CIC fully supports the National Qualification initiative, as it will bring all certifications from various training providers under FHEC accreditation, to be assessed at a national level.
“This also means that we will be able to offer up to Level 4 certification for tradespeople in the construction industry. We will work together with FHEC, APTC and FNU to see this through. The CIC conference in June will also let industry leaders know about the reasons and progress made,” he said.
Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Anna Dorney, congratulated the MoU signatories in her opening remarks at the signing.
“This is the type of partnership that helps build a technical and vocational education and training sector that is both high quality and industry-responsive, benefiting all stakeholders,” Ms Dorney said.
She also encouraged stakeholders in their efforts under the MOU to be inclusive of women and girls and people with disabilities.