HEC to assist VGML training institution
6 August, 2022, 6:30 am
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will assist the Vatukoula Gold Mine Ltd (VGML) training institution in developing high-quality and relevant qualifications which can be accredited and registered on the Fiji National Qualifications Framework.
A statement released by HEC states VGML is working with the HEC and envisages upgrading its training department to a registered higher education institution so that it can start enrolling students from high schools as apprentices while upskilling those already working for VGML and all those interested in upskilling and reskilling themselves with mining trades and skills.
HEC director Dr Rohit Kishore said this was one of the intended outcomes of the Inaugural Higher Education Forum 2022 that focused on making higher education more industry-based and even more relevant.
He said an example of the HEC was already on its way to achieving its transformation objectives.
Dr Kishore met with the training and management staff of VGML in Vatukoula for advisory purposes and to define strategies for working towards the vision and mission of establishing the Vatukoula Goldmine Technical Institution (VGTI).
Dr Kishore explained as the new VGTI developed and matured, it would be beneficial in providing mining qualifications not only for VGML, but also to the other mining companies in Fiji, the region and overseas.
VGTI will be an industry-based institution that will offer the mining sector skills-related technical education and training and contribute towards the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); and the apprenticeship scheme that the government is working on restructuring so that TVET qualifications are industry-based and address the current and new technical skills required by fast-changing industries.
Dr Kishore added training the workforce with specific skill sets would also increase labour marketability in this sector within the region, especially for the Pacific Labour Scheme platform.
HEC will be working closely with the industry and higher education institutions in developing standards for qualifications required by the respective sectors.