A partnership signing between the Tongan Ministry of Education and Training (MET) and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) will help facilitate better pathways and awareness on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Tonga.
The virtual signing, which took place on 27 April 2021, further extends Australia’s support for vocational education in Tonga.
Under the partnership, APTC and the MET will work jointly to strengthen Tonga’s TVET systems, and contribute towards improved employment outcomes for Tongans by better aligning skills with labour market demands.
This partnership builds on previous collaboration between APTC and the MET through agreements with the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology and the Tonga Institute of Higher Education.
The Tongan Minister for Education and Training, Honourable Hu’akavameiliku, welcomed the partnership in ensuring that Tongans have quality TVET education and appropriate skills not only to meet the demands of the domestic market, but also internationally.
“The Government of Tonga acknowledges the need for such partnerships in order to effectively identify and address constraints and promote a more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic growth. I commend partners like the Australian Government that play a key part in supporting the Tongan Government and its people.”
“The partnership will not only help develop the skills and competencies required for the Tongan workforce but also ensures that over a longer term, Tonga’s TVET sector is strengthened with competent and qualified trainers who can deliver high quality and relevant skills to the Tongan people,” he added.
As Australia’s flagship investment in training excellence in the Pacific, APTC has trained more than 16,000 Pacific graduates, including over 580 Tongan nationals.
The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency Adrian Morrison, said Australia is committed to helping build the TVET sector and skills in Pacific Island countries like Tonga.
The partnership agreement was signed by the Honourable Minister Hu’akavameiliku, and the Executive Director of APTC, Janelle Chapman.
The partnership activities are strongly aligned to supporting the MET as the lead implementing agency for Tonga’s National TVET Policy Framework.
In closing, Ms Chapman acknowledged the major role that the MET plays in developing Tonga’s TVET sector, and added that through the partnership, APTC will have the opportunity to add value to those contributions.
The partnership agreement spans over the next three years.