Pacific TAFE Students during one of the assessment classes.
Students undertaking Certificate IV in Fisheries Enforcement and Compliance through The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) underwent a week-long competency based assessment from 13-17 February 2017 at USP’s Laucala Campus in Suva.
The assessment was the culmination of nine (9) months of training that fifteen (15) students undertook as part of their programme. Out of this, eight (8) students were assessed last week because each individual needed to demonstrate competency in every performance criteria in order to gain the qualification.
The facilitators of the assessment were representatives from Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), The Australian Fisheries Management Authority, (AFMA), and New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries with the assistance from USP’s School of Marine Studies.
The students who were on FFA full time scholarship included experienced Government employees who work for Ministry of Fisheries.
According to Ms Megan Streeter of FFA, in addition to promoting a learning culture that provides advantages for Pacific Fisheries employees in the global work force, FFA is committed to facilitating cost-effective and standardised fisheries capacity development by working with USP.
Talking about the programme, Ms Streeter said that, “students benefit by receiving quality training/assessing under certification by academic and professional qualification to improve the professionalism of fisheries officers and advance their career aspects.”
Mr Hasmukh Lal, Pacific TAFE Director said that the delivery of this programme is an indication of collaboration between the two regional organisations.
“FFA, a technical regional fisheries agency and USP, a regional human resource development agency has partnered to upskill fisheries in enforcement and compliance,” Mr Lal said.
The Director added that this programme directly fills skills gaps raised by Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Papua New Guinea in 2015, that countries are not getting right economic return from fishing activities.
The way forward was to build capacity of fisheries officers with a quality assured training and this programme development was a response to that.
Mr Lal said that discussions are underway to explore development of other fisheries related programmes for the region by FFA and USP.
The students from this programme will be graduating in March, this year.
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