An MOU agreement between the Vanuatu Skills Partnership and Edwards Institute of Technology was signed 9th July in Port Vila. A first of its kind, this agreement will initially support professional capacity development of 24 government staff, including Area Administrators and Area Council Secretaries, in Tafea Province.
During the official signing ceremony, Department of Local Authorities (DLA) Director, Mr. Lieth Veremaito, acknowledged the Vanuatu Skills Partnership as a key partner in implementing the Vanuatu Government’s decentralisation policy.
“I would like to thank the Tafea Skills Centre’s continuous support for provincial development, including initiating this ICT training initiative. The Vanuatu Skills Partnership, through its network of provincial Skills Centres, is a key partner in the Government’s journey to decentralisation. As I am speaking, DLA is putting together an MOU with a bigger announcement about the work we are doing to build Area Councils through infrastructure and skills transfer, capacity development and support during disaster responses. While there are costs to meet, such trainings will ensure provincial governments are better equipped with effective human resources. DLA is also looking forward to such ICT trainings extended to other provinces.”
Collaborating with the Tertiary Education Directorate (TED) under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the Vanuatu Qualifications Authority (VQA), Edwards Institute of Technology, through the Tafea Skills Centre, will deliver a nationally accredited Certificate 1 course in Computer Operations. The training will be delivered in two separate modules, optimising flexibility for government officers and their workloads, and covering computer basics in MS Word and MS Excel along with typing skills – all customised to workplace needs.
In his official address, VQA CEO, Mr. David Lambukly, expressed his gratitude for the flexible training delivery approach being taken to implement this initiative.
“Today’s signing demonstrates the flexible training delivery approach currently being implemented by local training providers in Vanuatu through the great coalition with Vanuatu Skills Partnership and the provincial Skills Centres. With the Government’s decentralisation policy, we need to provide skills trainings to cater for the needs of Provincial Governments and Area Councils right at their doorstep. Bringing people into Port Vila for training does not meet the local contexts in most cases and is also a costly exercise.”
Mr. Baggio Tamata, Assistant Training Manager at the Edwards Institute of Technology, shared his organisation’s enthusiasm to contribute to meeting the demand for ICT skills. “Edwards Institute of Technology is a private institution and has been operating mainly in Port Vila and Luganville, Santo. However, with this MOU with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership, we now have come to realise the potential to offer training in other parts of Vanuatu through the flexible training delivery approach. We are open for further discussions to provide additional support for a national roll out in ICT skills training after this first training in Tafea.”
Mr. Fremden Yanhambath, Director for Vanuatu Skills Partnership, applauded the partnership forged through the signing and is hopeful for greater outcomes in ICT skills development
“The Vanuatu Skills Partnership, through its provincial Skills Centres, is focused on serving the 70 percent of people living in rural Vanuatu. This training is relevant for the work of Area Administrators and Area Council Secretaries and other provincial government staff, and also presents an opportunity for these individuals to gain certification and access further trainings through Vanuatu’s national training system pathways. I acknowledge all partners, especially Edwards Institute of Technology, and believe this MOU reflects a real partnership for skills development between the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu, a private training provider and an Australian Government funded bilateral program like the Vanuatu Skills Partnership. The agreement entails sharing of resources and costs to deliver ICT training in the provinces.”
Locally led, with a deep respect for Melanesian leadership, culture, and values, the Vanuatu Skills Partnership recognises that a strong skills sector is essential for inclusive economic and social outcomes, and this includes building local expertise in ICT.