The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) and the Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC) set foot in Timor-Leste, the newest independent country in Southeast Asia, to participate in the First International Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Conference. It was held in the capital city, Dili, from November 13-17, 2019 and Engr. Sanyog Bhattarai, CPSC Faculty Specialist, was sent as CPSC’s and APACC’s representative.

The conference was organized in line with Timor-Leste’s plan to improve the linkages between the industries and TVET training centers, as the country just implemented TVET programs starting 2009. The conference provided a venue in which industry representatives, government officials, and training center administrators participate and share ideas on how to improve people’s perception on TVET in Timor-Leste. The conference also gave an opportunity to make the TVET system responsive to the needs of industries in Timor-Leste and overseas including Australia under Pacific Labor Scheme (PLS) and Seasonal Worker Program (SWP), Korea under Employment Permit Scheme (EPS), and other countries who are willing to offer employment to the Timorese workers in the future. It was attended by 200 participants from Australia, Nepal and Japan aside from Timor-Leste.

Engr. Bhattarai was able to present APACC in an audience that has a limited knowledge regarding its framework and functions. They also gained some insights in the establishment of the QMS upon accreditation and the importance of TVET training to the nation’s economic development.

He was also able to meet some important persons in the Timorese TVET sector namely H.E. Dr. Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalães, the Minister of Legislative Reform (MRLAP) and Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs (MCAE); H.E. Mr. Peter Roberts, the Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste; H.E. Mr. Julião da Silva, Secretary, Secretariat of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEPFOPE); Ms. Isabel Fernandes De Lima, National Director of INDMO; Mr. Aquiles Salvador Guterres, Institutional Strengthening Adviser of INDMO; Mr. Tomi Zaini, Operations Manager of the Workforce Development Program Timor-Leste (WDPTL), and Mr. Januario Hok, Director of the East-Timor Development Agency.

The event provided a venue to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between APACC and National Institute of Workplace Development of Timor-Leste (IDMO). The MoU stipulated mutual support to advance the core principles of accreditation and certification of TVET Systems for human resources development in Asia and the Pacific region.

Engr. Bhattarai discussing his presentation on APACC benefits
Engr. Bhattarai and Timorese Officials during the MoU signing ceremony.