Twenty-four Fijians are undertaking the Australia Pacific Training Coalition’s (APTC) Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home & Community) program that is being delivered for the first time from the Fiji National University (FNU) Nursing School in Tamavua, Suva.
The program is part of an existing partnership between APTC and FNU that is supported by the Australian Government. It will grow Fiji’s skills in the aged care sector and deepen the long-standing relationship between APTC and FNU to further develop the quality of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Fiji.
FNU Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr William May, said as a dual-sector national University, the institution shared a common goal with APTC in providing accessible and relevant TVET training to students.
“We are grateful to be partnering with APTC in ensuring students are skilled in caring for aged individuals and communities. FNU is well placed to provide the facilities and support necessary to ensure students are well equipped when entering the workforce and this partnership is testament to our commitment to prioritising the provision of affordable and accessible education to all Fijians,” said Dr May.
As Australia's flagship TVET investment in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, APTC works with partners like FNU to build comprehensive skills development across the region.
APTC Acting Country Director for Fiji and Tuvalu, Gareth McGrath, said a core focus for APTC is to work with national training providers to develop their capacity to deliver qualifications and skillsets to an international standard across a range of demand-driven industry sectors.
“This program provides APTC and FNU with an opportunity to work in a collaborative model that will allow students to gain the skills and knowledge required to work effectively and successfully in the aged care industry, and provide tangible employment outcomes for students,” he added.
This first student cohort includes two FNU trainers, Litia Veitata and Veniana Dansey. Both trainers were selected by the University’s School of Nursing to undergo the program to support FNU’s plan to develop and deliver a national aged-care curriculum to help strengthen itsTVET programming.
The trainers are finding their study experience to be beneficial.
“I'm particularly pleased with the standard of teaching, learning materials and the facilities that are available to aid student learning. These experiences will assist in my preparations to teach because aged care is a specialised field,” said Ms Dansey.
Ms Veitata added her learnings are being enhanced as the course is taught in line with the Australian aged care standards.
FNU shares a longstanding relationship with APTC. Both institutions had initially collaborated in carpentry, wall and floor tiling, painting and decorating, and capacity building of trainers. Since then, they have signed successive partnership agreements to renew, extend and strengthen their collaboration.
The current students will complete the Individual Support Program in July 2022.