Interim Skill Development FacilityTonga’s idyllic beaches and tropical lifestyle mask a hidden reality for many of its population of around 103,000 people - a rising rate of unemployment in conjunction with a narrow economic base and the reliance of many Tongans on inwards remittances from relatives living overseas. This has occurred despite the Pacific kingdom making good progress towards achieving its Millennium Development Goals. In response, the Government of Tonga is working to strengthen its technical and vocational training (TVET) sector.

The Education and Policy Framework (2004-2019) identifies skill development and lifelong learning as priority policy areas for the Tongan population.

The Interim Skills Development Facility follows a four-year Tonga TVET Support Program, and seeks to support vocational training in Tonga that responds to labour market demand and demonstrates training and employment results. Its strategic objective is a workforce that is skilled to meet the available employment opportunities in Tonga and overseas. UQ International Development is leading the Interim Skill Development Facility, and managing a Skill Development Fund as a mechanism to finance training that will specifically target priority skill demand as identified in a 2013 Labour Market Study.

The key results areas of the Interim Skills Development Facility are:

  1. improved Tongan employability in national and international job markets
  2. strengthening of the Tongan TVET System
  3. mutually supportive arrangements between the Australian Pacific Technical College and the bi-lateral Country Program in Tonga
  4. improved access to and completion rates in skills development training for women, and people living with a disability, with linkages to employability outcomes

Interim Skills Development Facility: Grants Administration Register

# Grant Recipient Training Program Title Sector Purpose Value Approval Date Grant Term Grant Funding Location
1 Tonga Export Quality Management (TEQM) Skills Training for Women in Horticulture Agriculture To provide participants with the skills and knowledge to produce high quality crops for export; from seed propagation to harvest and packing. Participants will learn how to adhere to the quality management and biosecurity requirements to meet NZ export market requirements. $17,000 AUD 24/03/15 10 weeks Tongatapu, The Kingdom of Tonga
2 Nishi Industries, Inc Skills Training for Improved Productivity through Organic, Resilient and Sustainable Farming in Tonga Agriculture To provide skills training to participants using an internationally recognised Farmer Field School program to support improved productivity and exports by focusing on organic farming and supporting sustainable and resilient farming practices. $29,700 AUD 27/05/15 20 weeks

Tongatapu,

The Kingdom of Tonga

3 Tupou Tertiary Institute (TTI) Upgrading Nursing Qualifications and Professionalism in Tonga Human Health and Social Work To support an upgrade of the existing basic nursing diploma qualification that is currently being provided by the Ministry of Health to a degree qualification; and to enhance the professionalism within the Nursing industry. $50,580 AUD Pending 1 year

Tongatapu,

The Kingdom of Tonga

4 Ahopanilolo Technical Institute (ATI) Skills Training in Customer Service for Hotel and Lodge Accommodation Housekeepers Accommodation and Food Services To train participants from a range of accommodation sites in Nuku'Alofa in housekeeping and customer service to an international standard. $6,130 AUD 29/05/15 3 months

Tongatapu,

The Kingdom of Tonga

5 BEST Pacific Insitute of Education Induction and Preparation Program for new RSE and SWP workers Agriculture To train and prepare prospective RSE and SWP workers $139,500 AUD 16/07/15 12 weeks

Tongatapu,

The Kingdom of Tonga

6 BEST Pacific Insitute of Education Leadership Program for RSE and SWP workers Agriculture To train experienced RSE and SWP workers in developing leadership, expertise and capacity in RSE and SWP businesses and in Tongan horticulture industry sectors; and to receive ToT training to potentially become the facilitators of the Induction and Preparation Program for new RSE and SWP workers.
7 MZEE Limited Provision of Professional Development, Training Resources and Moderation of Assessment to the 'Skills Training for Food and Related Products Processing' project Manufacturing To provide professional development, training resources and moderation of assessment support to the Tonga Insitute of Science and Technology (TIST) to deliver training in Food and Related Products Processing to Tongan food and beverage companies. $40,714 AUD 1/09/2015 6 months Tongatapu, The Kingdom of Tonga
8 Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Effective Training Workshop Development and Delivery Programs for Persons With Disabilities in Tonga Improved Leadership and Management of TVET To provide participants with the knowledge and skills to plan and deliver training sessions to groups in a workshop environment, with a focus on disability awareness and inclusion vocational training. $13,700 AUD 13/01/2016 4 weeks Tongatapu, The Kingdom of Tonga

 

Project members

John Brighenti

Manager, International Development, Africa and South and West Asia