Australia has provided three boats and a bus to four training providers in order to enhance students’ learning experiences as part of its commitment to strengthening the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in Solomon Islands.
The handover is part of Australia’s support to TVET in Solomon Islands, through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). The Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Dr Lachlan Strahan, officiated at the ceremony at the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI) in Honiara on 30 June 2021.
He handed over a 15-seater student bus to DBTI and the boats and engines to Afutara Adventist Technical Institute, Tabaka Rural Training Centre and Batuna Rural Training Centre.
Dr Strahan said, “These vehicles will benefit the training providers in delivering skills training and help improve industry engagement to support the students’ learning journey.”
“National training providers play an important role in delivering TVET and enhancing skills across Solomon Islands. Australia is committed through APTC to support the TVET sector in Solomon Islands and across the Pacific.”
“We are also proud to see APTC’s growing relationship with the Rural Training Centres in Solomon Islands. This collaboration is part of the Australian Government’s increased investment in APTC,” said Dr Strahan.
APTC has worked closely with local industry and national training providers for over ten years and continues to ensure the training provided to students meet domestic and international training needs. APTC will continue to invest in TVET infrastructure, strengthen the capability of TVET providers, including expanding partnerships with national training providers.
Since it was established in 2007, APTC has provided high quality technical and vocational training to over 2,000 Solomon Islanders.
“The APTC also plays an important role in helping to prepare Solomon Islanders to participate in Australia’s labour mobility programs,” said Dr Strahan.
Tabaka Principal, Michael Dive, thanked the Australian Government and APTC for the timely support, and said, “This will contribute to Tabaka’s improvements in skills education delivery, accessibility to industry and supply of training materials and emergency student health services in the Western Province.”
He said, “The provision of outboard motors and engines to the three island based provincial national training providers is also an opportunity for students to experience boat engine maintenance as part of their training, given boats are a common mode of transport in the provinces.”
Principal of DBTI, Paul Daro, said, “The Institute has a longstanding partnership with APTC to develop quality, empowered professionals who demonstrate the skills required to contribute to the productivity and prosperity of the Solomon Islands.”
He also said, “The new bus will greatly help with transportation of students for work placement, trainer industry currency and the Institute’s daily operations to help improve TVET and employment pathways for Solomon Islanders.”
Present at the handover ceremony were representatives from the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational Rural Training Centres, the Seventh Day Adventist Education Authority, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DBTI students together with APTC staff and alumni.