THE Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in the Solomon Islands has relocated to a new campus facility located at Town Ground in West Honiara.
The campus was officially opened by the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Roderick Brazier this week.
The new facility includes a training room, onsite testing services and improved facilities for staff and students, which will enable greater visibility of APTC and centralised support to students. The facility has also enabled APTC to offer an increased number of training programs to Solomon Islanders.
APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific region.
Australia’s objective through APTC is to contribute towards a prosperous Pacific driven by a skilled, competitive and productive workforce.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Brazier said: “Australia’s support of APTC over the past nine years has resulted in over 1115 Solomon Islanders gaining internationally recognised qualifications in over 20 different skill sectors. That is a huge success by anyone’s standards.”
“While excellent partnerships with local training providers and businesses has helped ensure that this training could be delivered efficiently and effectively, I know that sometimes there just hasn’t been enough training spaces available, or even enough hours in the day, to allow APTC to deliver the full range of its course offerings, to the full extent of its capacity.”
“This new campus will go a long way to ensuring that APTC can now fully reach its potential here in Solomon Islands, for the ultimate benefit of Solomon Islanders throughout the country.”
APTC first established a campus in Solomon Islands in Central Honiara in 2014, from where it operated for three years, before moving to the new facility in November 2016.
The first training conducted from the new facility was the Certificate III in Community Services program, which commenced in January with 22 students.
Other courses currently offered in Honiara are the Certificate III in Carpentry delivered at Don Bosco Technical Institute and the Certificate III in Hospitality, which is delivered in partnership with the Solomon Islands National University. A further 55 Solomon Islanders are studying at APTC campuses in PNG, Vanuatu, Fiji or Samoa.
APTC Chief Executive Officer, Denise O’Brien said she was very pleased with the increased visibility of APTC in Solomon Islands and the greater range of programs on offer.
“We look forward to continuing to provide Solomon Islands with increasing number of trained workers with internationally recognised skills,” she said.
APTC Solomon Islands Country Manager, Pamela Morgan said that staff are happy with the new work environment and having students on site means that it is easier to provide technical, administrative and counselling support to the students during their training.
She said the new facility would make APTC training more visible to the public every day.
The campus recently celebrated the graduation of 63 Solomon Islanders, who were awarded with Australian qualifications on May 9.
Certificate III in Hospitality students prepared and served refreshments to more than 30 guests at the event, which included government officials, TVET and industry stakeholders.