The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) provided training resources to the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) as part of their ongoing partnership to help improve Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and employment pathways for Tongan nationals.
The partnership between the two institutions was formalised in 2020 and has been supported by the Australian Government and Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training (MET), including the contribution of 20 carpentry textbooks to help enhance the training outcomes for TIST programs.
The MET Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen, said APTC’s support was a welcome gesture towards building and maintaining a strong and ongoing friendship between the two training institutions. She further said the partnership will address targeted and specific skills development in consideration of Tonga’s vocational education and training needs and contexts.
The APTC-TIST partnership has resulted in key outcomes including the joint program development in the review and benchmarking of TIST’s Certificate IV in Plumbing, use of TIST facilities for APTC’s delivery of Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20113), and the development of TIST’s School Management System Platform for online services for students and staff, particularly for remote access training for Tongans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APTC is Australia’s flagship program for training excellence and collaboration in the Pacific. In Tonga, the Australian Government has supported the training of over 580 Tongans through APTC.
The Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency Adrian Morrison, relayed Australia’s endorsement of the continued collective approach between the APTC and TIST.
“These partnerships are a vital part of ensuring skills development and pathways for the future sustainability of the Pacific, including countries like Tonga, and its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I commend APTC and TIST for ensuring improved training and employment pathways for Tongan students, and look forward to seeing more positive outcomes as a result of this collaboration,” he added.
The handover of the training resources was done on 25 May 2021.