Tonga Skills for Inclusive Economic Growth, will be celebrating its 1st Birthday on 1 November 2017. Tonga Skills was ‘born’ with only three local staff based in Tongatapu, led by an interim international adviser. Now, there are two main offices – in Vava’u & Tongatapu – with 10 permanent local staff, led by a Tongan Team Leader, and supported by international advisers for select short-term inputs. Originally housed under the Tonga Institute of Higher Education at Pahu, now on its first birthday, the Program has moved to Civic Area of Nuku’alo, on top of Lalita Building Complex.
Tonga Skills is an Australian Government investment, working in partnership with the Tonga Ministry of Education and Training, to support improved employment outcomes and local private sector growth through skills development. Tonga Skills aims to strengthen the national training system so it is better able to respond to the labour demand and economic opportunities of the formal and informal economies.
To date, working in collaboration with the Island Development Committees and private sector and community stakeholders, Tonga Skills has facilitated 11 skills development activities in priority growth industry areas. These activities have used flexible, non-institution based delivery mechanisms, so people can learn ‘on-the job’ in the businesses and communities where they live and work. Participants have come from the four island groups (Tongatapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai &’ Eua), with a combined total of 194 trainees – 103 females and 81 males. Almost all skill development activities have included people with disabilities. Importantly, Tonga Skills is working to increase access to training delivered by registered training providers, so that trainees can receive formal certification of their skills to increase their employment and labour mobility opportunities.
To commemorate this joyous occasion, Tonga Skills has invited his Excellency Andrew Ford, the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, along with other key partners within the skills sector from across the Kingdom.