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In partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC), Skills Consulting Group (SCG) in New Zealand has developed a qualification which equips Pasifika youth with the skills to defend their communities against the effects of climate change. The Pacific region is on the front line of the global climate crisis, and a healthy and prosperous future for its people relies on their resilience.

SPC and SCG have launched the Pacific-accredited Diploma in Resilience. Developed at the request of and in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC), it aims to support indigenous island communities adapt to climate change, reduce risk to communities, and manage disaster effectively.

The Diploma in Resilience is one of of four qualifications that create a pathway all the way from school leaver to just below degree level. It is the first of its kind in the region, and ten Pacific countries were consulted during its 3-year development; Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and Niue. Experts based in Australia, New Zealand and Japan were also involved, resulting in world class, Pacific-focussed accreditation that aligns with the core needs of Pacific communities who rely on industries such as forestry, agriculture, coastal management, fisheries and tourism.

The driving force behind the qualification’s development at SCG was 26 year-old consultant Joe Robinson. Since 2019, Robinson has worked alongside SPC to make the Diploma in Resilience a reality, pushing through COVID-19’s disruption.

“Climate change is a reality for everyone all over the world, but it’s the Pacific that’s on the front line,” says Robinson.

“Our partnerships and collaboration to support growth in resilience education recognises Pacific solutions for Pacific people to spur professionals in climate resilience. This diploma will open opportunities to for graduates to become change agents within their communities as they deal with climate change impact,” Melinda Mathers, PACRES project – SPC TVET Coordinator said. “The PACRES project has valued regional organisation and institutions sharing information, results and knowledge about climate action to strengthen the Pacific’s capacity to intervene, mitigate and adapt.”

Even if larger global nations keep to their climate-change targets now, the world will still experience a 1.5c rise which will affect island nations in the global south intensely. The Pacific Community identified a gap in skills among younger people who were not leaving education equipped to deal with future climate events. These qualifications fill in the gaps.

“An estimated 9.2 million people have been affected by natural hazards in the Pacific since 1950, and the number of disasters every year is only projected to rise,” says Robinson. “That’s why the Pacific needs to be prepared, and that’s what these qualifications do – they train people how to help communities adapt to climate change and disaster.”

The final accreditations were secured in June and partner institutions are finalising the material. The qualifications will be available across the Pacific later this year.



About Pacific Community

The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, proudly supporting development since 1947. As an international development organisation SPC is owned and governed by 27 country and territory members.

The Pacific Community supports sustainable development by applying a people-centred approach to science, research and technology across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We serve our members by interweaving and harnessing the nexus of climate, ocean, land, culture, rights and good governance; through trusted partnerships; investing in Pacific people; and understanding Pacific contexts.  


Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change and Resilience Building (PACRES) project is committed to ensuring better regional and national adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change challenges. By scaling up the TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) capacity building pathway both the Articulated Resilience Qualification Level 2 and 4 and the new Diploma in Resilience level 5 and 6, a first in the Pacific, have been developed.

Skills Consulting Group is a New Zealand full-service consultancy working with businesses, industry bodies and governmental agencies from all over the globe to assist them to build success by upskilling their workforce. The businesses within Skills Consulting Group are experts in vocational education, workplace capability, people development, and employee wellbeing.

Skills Consulting Group is the premiere supplier of proactive wellbeing programmes, outplacement & career transition services and employee assistance programmes (EAP) for corporates and small to medium organisations.