Pacific Skills Partnership commits to skills development for a sustainable Pacific
The Pacific Skills Partnership was launched at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru yesterday, re-affirming the vital link
between skills and sustainable development in the region.
As Chair of the 49th Pacific Islands Forum, the Republic of Nauru initiated the partnership in collaboration with The
University of the South Pacific (USP) and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The President of Nauru, His Excellency Baron Waqa, led representatives from civil society, Pacific Island governments
and the private sector in signing a ceremonial tapa scroll confirming their commitment to skills development for a
He described the Pacific Skills Partnership as a region-led vehicle for collaborating on skills-based, tangible outcomes
for Pacific people and communities, in alignment with the Pacific Regional Education Framework and the Framework for
“My vision for the partnership is to inspire and facilitate new and practical approaches to strengthening skills, jobs
and growth across the region in an integrated way that benefits individuals and nations while strengthening regional
sustainability,” President Waqa said.
He acknowledged Pacific nations’ progress in strengthening workforce skills, maintaining that much more can be achieved
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, said the partnership is an important step
towards a stronger Pacific and commended the Republic of Nauru for the initiative.
“A more coordinated and scaled up effort is needed to secure the skills for a sustainable and prosperous future -
Australia is committed to helping achieve this goal,” she said.
The Pacific Skills Partnership will focus on a series of regional skills development activities, including a Pacific
Skills Summit. The partnership also commits to seeking out new alliances and investments for essential skills.
“We congratulate the Government of Nauru for this excellent Pacific-led initiative. USP is excited to be part of this
partnership as the region’s leading regional human resource development institution, which has been skilling and
building capacity in the Pacific for last 50 years,” said Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President of
Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) member and President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation
(FCEF), Mr Sandeep Chauhan, said, “PIPSO is excited to partner as a means of providing greater opportunities for our
members, the Pacific private sector, to engage more in the TVET agenda.”
Vice Chair of the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO), Mr Keu Mataroa, added, “This
partnership can and must be one that is inclusive, so that our communities can rise to the challenges of today and
tomorrow while respecting and upholding the rights of all.”
President Waqa closed his remarks by encouraging organisations and stakeholders to join the Pacific Skills Partnership
and “to turn Pacific challenges into Pacific opportunities” through skills development.
Founding signatories included: The President of the Republic of Nauru, His Excellency Baron Waqa; Vice-Chancellor and
President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra; Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Honourable Marise
Payne; PIPSO member and President of FCEF, Mr Sandeep Chauhan; and Vice-Chair of PIANGO, Mr Keu Mataroa.