A new TVET Coordination Unit established by the Government of Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training (MET) was launched on 21 April 2022.
The resourcing for the TVET Unit is being supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). This includes human resourcing needs for the first year of operations and new office equipment, furniture, electronics and laptops.
The Unit will support the Ministry in implementing Tonga’s TVET Policy Framework and strengthen collaboration and coordination across Tongan TVET stakeholders and enhance linkages between skills and industry demands.
It will also act as a central point for liaison and information sharing on labour market trends and requirements and support the development of programs and training materials.
According to the MET Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen, Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework (TSDF) envisions ‘a more inclusive, sustainable and dynamic knowledge-based economy’ as a national outcome for economic growth and improved quality of life for Tongans. The 2019 Tonga’s TVET Policy Framework is in alignment with the TSDF’s vision, as it sets out to build Tonga’s appropriately skilled workforce, which will be able to meet available employment opportunities in Tonga and beyond. The TVET Unit will focus on ensuring that the policy is successfully implemented in the next two years.
The establishment of the Unit also supports the shared partnership objectives between APTC and the MET to facilitate clear TVET pathways and greater awareness of its importance in the education journey of Tongan people.
“Through the existing partnership arrangement, APTC hopes to continue contributing to the Ministry of Education and Training’s role in developing Tonga’s TVET sector. Our partnership activities also complement Australia’s ongoing support for vocational education in Tonga,” said Janelle Chapman, APTC’s Executive Director.
Previous collaboration between APTC and the MET was through agreements with the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology and the Tonga Institute of Higher Education on improving training and employment pathways for Tongans.
APTC is Australia’s flagship TVET program for the region. Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has produced over 570 Tongan graduates.