A new partnership agreement has been signed between the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) and the Fiji National University (FNU) to allow the two institutions to work collaboratively over the next two years (2016-2018) on the delivery of APTC’s Painting and Decorating and Applied Fashion Design and Technology qualifications.
The programs will be accredited and delivered by APTC for the first three semesters, with the view that FNU will establish an equivalent program from 2018. This will enable continuation of the courses at FNU with the ability for graduates to also achieve an Australian qualification through the process of APTC’s Recognition of Prior Learning.
APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
Under the partnership, a major focus is on the capacity building of FNU trainers to ensure sustainability of the training in Fiji.
APTC will also improve the Fashion Design and Technology facilities at FNU Nabua campus to ensure the training area and equipment is current and compliant with the Australian training package and the Health and Safety requirements.
The agreement was signed on 10 June at the FNU Nasinu campus by APTC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Denise O’Brien, and the FNU Chancellor, Mr Ikbal Jannif.
Ms O’Brien said that highly skilled trades people are in demand across Fiji in a large number of industry sectors.
She added that APTC is delighted to join FNU and industry to support the training requirements of local enterprises in Fashion Design and Technology and also Painting and Decorating trades.
“APTC is committed to working with the garment manufacturing and broader fashion industry in Fiji. To date, we have delivered very successful work-based training programs to upskill existing workers in companies in the Suva area and in the West. This industry is poised for growth and relies on a skilled workforce to ensure quality and efficiency. A dedicated training facility will support the skills requirements of the industry, both now and into the future,” she elaborated.
In his remarks, Mr Jannif said that the signing of the MOU with APTC reaffirms FNU’s commitment towards providing quality education, tailor-made to meet the demand from the industry.
“This MOU comes at an important time for FNU and the Fiji Fashion and Garment Industry, as this sector is set to become one of the key drivers of our economy. FNU has been working for some time now with industry partners to assist in developing the Fashion industry and we are happy to partner with APTC to take our programmes to the next level.”
“This is a historic occasion for FNU and the Fashion Industry in Fiji. We are excited to partner with APTC to enhance this important sector with support from the industry leaders. This MOU lays the foundation for other new and exciting things and I’m confident that APTC and FNU together will be able to transform this industry and strengthen Fiji’s footing on the world fashion stage,” he added.
The Counsellor, Regional Health, Education and Gender, Ms Sheona McKenna and APTC’s Executive Director, Training Delivery, Marian Wilkinson and APTC Fiji Country Manager, Mr Jonathan Todd were also present at the signing.