Barry Peddle, team leader of the Australian Government funded program Skills for Economic Growth (S4EG).

Members of the private sector community were given the inaugural presentation of courses and qualifications created and available under new education authority the Solomon Islands Tertiary Education and Skills Authority (SITESA).

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) on Friday 24th November came together in a Business After 5 networking event with the Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development (MEHRD) and Skills for Economic Growth (S4EG) officials to launch SITESA’s National Skills Packages.

The National Skills Packages contain 15 qualifications developed under SITESA with support from the business and industry sectors and the Australian Government funded S4EG program.

Minister of Education Hon. John Dean Kuku officiated the occasion with remarks from the MEHRD Permanent Secretary Dr Franco Rodie, S4EG Team Leader Barry Peddle, SICCI Chair Jay Bartlett and Solomon Power General Manager of Corporate Services, Arieta Cama.

“The Ministry is working to create a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation between SITESA, under MEHRD and the Fiji Higher Education Commission [FHEC],” said Hon. Kuku at the launch which was held using SICCI’s popular Business After 5 network.

“The primary intention of the Agreement is to provide international quality standards benchmarks against which Solomon Islands-developed qualifications can be recognised until SITESA is fully operational and has its own course accreditation systems in place.”

The Minister revealed that12 qualifications contained within five National Skills Packages as well as three accredited courses have been submitted to the FHEC for “Recognition as Foreign Qualifications”.

These qualifications cover the primary labour demand and skills shortage industry sectors in the Solomon Islands including courses under the proposed new National Apprenticeship and Traineeship system.

All domestic, regional, private and international training providers who seek to offer accredited qualifications, including National Skills Packages, in the Solomon Islands, must do so under the regulatory authority of SITESA.

“This includes Higher Education and Skills Training programs,” the Minister explains.

“Training providers who seek to deliver National Skills Packages will have to demonstrate a commitment to achieving registration or mutual recognition under SITESA, commencing with a quality audit and implementation of a quality improvement strategy to meet provider registration standards.”

As part of this registration process, training providers will have to nominate the (national) courses or other qualifications they are seeking approval to deliver under the national standards as their “scope of registration”.

Ms Cama, who spoke as a human resources practitioner on what it means for the private sector, said the National Skills Packages will give a positive effect, “a ripple effect” in the workplace that can lead to greater productivity.

SITESA

The SITESA Act 2017 was passed by the Solomon Islands Parliament on 1 March 2017. The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development now has the legal authority to commence the establishment of SITESA. National Skills Training Packages are an important step for SITESA in the journey to quality demand driven skills training. The authority was established by the joint efforts of the Ministry of Education and Australian Government funded program Skills for Economic Growth (S4EG).

SICCI Business After 5

The SICCI Business After 5, commonly referred to as the BA5, is one of SICCI’s ongoing networking programs that is held exclusively for members of SICCI. Members or partnering stakeholders are given the opportunity to host a BA5 with the chance to use the platform to introduce or promote their products, business or an initiative to the private sector community. The BA5 is cost-free for attending members, invited guests and media, and is held after 5pm or after working hours on a date requested by the host. Other SICCI networking events include the Business Breakfasts and Business Luncheons.

About the author

Ernest Ta’asi is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Ernest writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Ernest can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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