Minister Bishop Launches USP-APTC Pacific Fusion Restaurant and Training Kitchen
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From L-R: APTC CEO, Ms Denise O’Brien, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Julie Bishop and USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra after the opening of the Pacific Fusion Restaurant and launch of APTC-USP partnership by the Hon Bishop at USP’s Laucala Campus on 31 October, 2014.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched a new partnership between The University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) today, along with new hospitality training facilities, at USP’s Laucala Campus in Suva.
The USP-APTC Partnership will benefit the Pacific hospitality industry by delivering international-standard hospitality training for both existing workers and new entrants in Fiji and the region.
More than 6,200 Pacific Islanders from 14 Pacific countries have graduated from APTC since 2007, contributing their skills back into their workplaces and generating income for their families and communities.
The Pacific Fusion Training Restaurant and Kitchen was refurbished through an investment of FJ$1 million from the Australian Government and USP. In it, students will develop their skills to the highest quality industry standards and provide a ready pool of skilled workers for the tourism industry.
“The partnership between The University of the South Pacific and the Australia-Pacific Technical College brings together two of Australia’s most significant regional investments that are firmly focused on driving economic growth in the Pacific.” Minister Bishop said at the launch, hosted at the new Pacific Fusion Training Restaurant and Kitchen.
“Australia has supported USP since its establishment in 1968. This history of financial assistance and mentoring is remarkable for its long duration and for the fact that it has always focused on strengthening USP as an institution; it has been impact-driven and about achieving results for Pacific people,” USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra said.
Hon Julie Bishop addresses guests at the opening of the Pacific Fusion Restaurant at USP's Laucala Campus on 31 October, 2014.
“The Honourable Minister’s endorsement and launch of the USP-APTC Partnership today is very exciting, and hails USP as a major player in the area of TVET in the Pacific Islands. We are pleased to also celebrate one of the Partnership’s first initiatives, the Pacific Fusion Training Restaurant and Kitchen here at the University, which officially opens today,” Professor Chandra further added.
APTC is an Australian Government initiative that delivers internationally recognised training in targeted industries. The College works with Pacific governments, educational institutions and industry partners to ensure vocational training meets labour market demands.
“APTC does not operate in isolation. The success of our graduates and training program is underpinned by the strong partnerships we have forged with TVET institutions, employers and industries across the region,” APTC CEO Denise O’Brien said.
Ms O’Brien added that working with a regional institution such as USP will assist in responding effectively to demands for hospitality skills across the Pacific.
In combination with employer and student contributions, the Australian Government also subsidises APTC tuition costs.
In June APTC began delivering 6-month Certificate III courses in Commercial Cookery and Hospitality for adult learners with existing skills and experience in their industry at the USP Laucala Campus. USP will commence Commercial Cookery and Hospitality courses next year, benchmarked to Australian standards for school leavers with no current industry experience.
The Pacific Fusion Training Restaurant will be open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner services at dates and times to be advertised by USP and APTC.
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