Creating Skills for life

APTC Board Communique

APTC Board Meeting #12, 10 June 2021


The APTC Board members, together with representatives from DFAT, TAFE Queensland (TQ) and APTC, met virtually for the twelfth time to discuss a range of issues, including the impact of COVID-19 community transmissions to APTC operations in Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Regular APTC COVID-19 emergency response meetings are held to ensure that safety protocols for staff and students are prioritised, and the 2021 Training Profile is continuously adapted to COVID restrictions. Discussions are also ongoing with Pacific TAFE about a COVID response micro-credential program.

The Board was informed on the skills strengthening work in Papua New Guinea with three partners (Mt Hagan Technical College, Highlands Agricultural College and Bougainville Technical College), Rural Training Centres (RTCs) in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu Qualifications Authority and the Nauru Department of Education and Training.

The Board noted that the third contract amendment was signed and includes additional COVID funding for bilateral initiatives in Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu.

The Board was informed of an APTC workshop with the Pacific Labour Facility (PLF) to develop a joint work plan for 2021/2022.

The Board noted the potential for shorter-term internship opportunities pursued through Australian Internships; however, visas presented a major issue.

DFAT provided an update on its work with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment exploring education and labour mobility pathways for Pacific students, including plans for a training pilot in the aged care sector. 

The Board noted the critical shortage of labour in the hospitality and tourism sectors and that these industries have not been as effective as the agriculture sector in securing quarantine arrangements.

Board member Lesieli Taviri led a discussion focusing on the private sector and industry engagement in Papua New Guinea. There was a call for APTC to work more closely with industry groups in Papua New Guinea to adopt a coordinated and integrated stakeholder strategy.

A number of recommendations put forward included a stakeholder roadshow where APTC could present to Councils/Boards and get their support for a partnership; working with industry bodies to conduct targeted skills needs surveys within their membership and using this to inform an industry specific skills development strategy incorporating local TVET strengthening; and a well-connected APTC management representative in-country to collaborate with industry bodies to develop strategic relationships and targeted plans.

It was agreed APTC would present a paper at a future Board meeting on strategic engagement with industry associations in Papua New Guinea around skills development outcomes.

APTC made a presentation to the Board on the implementation of different delivery models to deliver skills through remote delivery. Qualifications that have successfully shifted to remote models include Training and Assessment, International Skills Training, Leadership and Management and the Certificate III in Tourism is being piloted with 28 students from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 

Moving forward into the next phase, APTC will increase its digital portfolio by adding more micro-credentials and skill sets; train staff to facilitate remote and online delivery, including delivering training to Pacific VET institutions; support Pacific TAFE in the development of their micro-credentials and courses; work with Educational Quality & Assessment Programme and in consultation with the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme to create Pacific micro qualifications (e-commerce) which will sit on the Pacific Register of Qualifications and Standards; further embed remote and online delivery into its training profile, and work with TVET partners to be leaders for the Pacific in the e-learning arena.

The Board Chair, Kaye Schofield, was farewelled by Board members, DFAT, TAFE Queensland and APTC. She was thanked for her contribution and deep commitment to Pacific education, TVET and international development.


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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