Earlier this month, the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) welcomed its new cohort of program participants for 2015. Over 970 new enrolments have commenced study in APTC programs in its five campuses - Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region.
APTC staff from the different campuses were on-hand to welcome and assist new and returning students. For the APTC campus in Samoa, a two-day orientation program was organised for new students where they were given a brief introduction to APTC and the expectations of being a student.
The APTC Country Manager for Samoa, Francis Howes explained that the idea behind the orientation program is to ensure that students are well informed before they begin their studies.
"We need to break down some of their preconceptions about learning as some of the students have not been in a classroom since leaving school. It is very different being an adult learner and we need to explain the level of responsibility that students have for their own learning," she said.
"This is a partnership between APTC, the employer and the student, and for success, we all need to play our part," Francis continued.
During the orientation, information sessions held included: finance, health and safety, understanding local culture, and law and order.
Similarly at the Solomon Islands campus, Country Manager, Mark Robertson said that new students were looking forward to beginning their learning journey. Students were told to take full advantage of their unique study opportunity.
This year, the Solomon Islands campus will offer the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to students in the Province of Malaita. This will be the first time that APTC will deliver a course in one of the provincial centres of the Solomon Islands.