The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), National University of Samoa (NUS) and the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) renewed their commitment to continue working together to promote the delivery of quality, inclusive and relevant technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Samoa.
The institutions signed partnership renewals on 17 June, extending their collaboration till 2023.
In his keynote address, Associate Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Honourable Agaseata Tanuvasa Peto, said the collaboration between APTC, NUS and SQA will contribute to the outcomes in Samoa’s Education Sector Plan, ensuring that education and training are more relevant to national needs and the labour market.
The APTC and NUS have collaborated since 2007 and their latest partnership agreement was formalised in 2019. Both institutions will continue to enhance the learning outcomes and employability of Samoan graduates, including the design, development and accreditation of the plumbing apprenticeship program to be delivered by the NUS that will help ensure more locally qualified plumbers.
“This valuable partnership between APTC and NUS has also enabled students and staff from NUS to access numerous capability development opportunities such as Language, Literacy and Numeracy support, the Teacher Assistant program, Certificate III Trades courses, Certificate IV in Leadership & Management, and International Skills Training courses, to name a few,” said Peseta Dr Desmond Lee Hang, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of NUS.
SQA and APTC have collaborated since March 2021 on strengthening TVET quality and capacity of TVET trainers. Recently, both institutions helped strengthen digital literacy for TVET providers in Upolu and Savaii through the provision of new ICT equipment and resources. This support was part of Australia’s assistance through the Samoa COVID-19 Development Response Plan.
Looking forward, APTC and SQA will expand advocacy initiatives for the continuation of TVET quality, access and training, as well as a greater capacity to support gender equity, disability and social inclusion within Samoa’s TVET landscape.
“SQA on behalf of the TVET providers thank the APTC and Government of Australia for the support towards capacity building of TVET trainers and ICT resources to ensure programs delivered are of quality and relevant to the workplaces, not only in Samoa but internationally as well. SQA is very pleased to continue collaboration with the APTC for the betterment of the TVET sector in Samoa,” said Gatoloai Tilianamua Afamasaga, Chairperson, SQA Board.
Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Emily Luck, said the renewed commitment by the partners to strengthening the national TVET sector contributes to addressing education and skills needs for sectors hardest hit by COVID-19.
APTC Executive Director, Janelle Chapman added that APTC looks forward to engaging further with both organisations to ensure sustainable outcomes that will support growth and prosperity for Samoa through strengthened TVET outcomes and skills development.
APTC is Australia's flagship TVET investment in the region that has trained over 17,000 graduates, including more than 2,000 Samoans.