Creating Skills for life

2022 News Archive

Acting Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Mr Andrew Ford and MET CEO, Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen, at the partnership renewal signing..

MET, TIST and APTC strengthen collaboration to enhance TVET in Tonga

Jul 21, 2022

Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training (MET) and the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) have committed to renewing their partnership with the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) to promote skills development for improved employment opportunities for Tongans.

Tonga and Australia both strongly support this partnership which has been renewed for another year. 

The MET-APTC partnership has provided additional resourcing support for the Ministry’s newly established TVET Unit. This included funding for new ICT equipment and other human resourcing needs for the first year of operations. The Unit supports MET in implementing Tonga’s TVET Policy Framework, which is vital in ensuring an inclusive and skilled workforce for Tonga’s growth and progress.

At the signing ceremony on June 29, MET Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tangikina Moimoi Steen said, the partnership supports the vision of Tonga’s Strategic Development Framework for a more inclusive, sustainable and dynamic knowledge-based economy as a national outcome for economic growth and improved quality of life for Tongans.

“The APTC-MET partnership provides improved education and training programs which encourage life-long learning of both academic and vocational knowledge, therefore better preparing our Tongan students to make active use of the opportunities in the community, the domestic economy and overseas. Such a seamless alignment of employable skills and attributes gained by students in the TVET systems and that of the labour market requirements can be attained through collaborative learning and sharing amongst stakeholders,” she added.

APTC’s collaboration with TIST has delivered a number of great outcomes for Tongans, including the delivery of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40116) for TIST trainers to build and enhance training delivery capacity. APTC has further supported TIST in improving the quality of its plumbing and electrical programs available for Tongan people.

During his keynote address last month, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Mr Andrew Ford, talked about APTC as Australia’s flagship investment in training excellence in the Pacific.

“Skills development and pathways have been identified in Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response Plan as a key focus area for economic recovery efforts in the Kingdom of Tonga. We anticipate that the Ministry’s dedicated TVET Unit will contribute to improving skills delivery for Tongan citizens.”

“TVET remains an increasingly important component for Tonga’s growth and progress. Therefore, Australia is committed to working through APTC and the MET to support a skilled and inclusive workforce for the Kingdom of Tonga.”

APTC Executive Director, Janelle Chapman welcomed the opportunity to continue working with both partners to further strengthen the national TVET system for improved training and employment pathways for all Tongans.

“I am hoping that through the partnership, APTC can continue to add value to existing and future contributions of MET and TIST in ensuring that more Tongans have the competencies and skills they need to succeed, both now and into the future,” she added.

As part of the partnership renewal, Australia also supported TIST with automotive tools to enhance training and learning outcomes. The contribution complements an earlier contribution of textbooks and tools for electrical and carpentry programs that was made in 2021.

APTC is Australia’s flagship TVET investment in the region. Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has produced more than 17,000 Pacific graduates, including over 570 Tongan nationals, for a wide range of vocational careers.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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