Focus on Education not just painting
Pacificpainters originally started out as a forum for professional development in the pacific region for painters and decorators.
It was inspired and developed by Michael Farrugia who has been painting since the 1980's. He started training painting apprentices in Australia in 1998 and still remains actively involved in education and development.
Michael Farrugia is the educational director and co-founder of the National Institute for painting & Decorating Australia - www.painters.edu.au
He is also on the board of Greenpainters Australia - www.greenpainters.com.au
Michael Farrugia came to Fiji in 2007 as a trainer and assessor for painting and decorating with the APTC project.
His focus has always been about helping people, and in his role with APTC he helped many gain employment and start out in the industry. He also tried very hard to help painters in Fiji start their own business.
As an advocate of women in the painting trade and giving people an opportunity to be enabled despite disabilities he supported the initiative of 'Able painters' a company that was to be run by deaf painters and managed by a women.
He also supported the development of two painting and decorating companies run by women. Along with supporting many men start out on their own too.
Services he provided for his students to help them get out in the industry was webpage development, business mentoring and helping them with specifications for contracts. He also often helped in securing protect tenders for his students.
When Michael Left APTC he became a Fijian citizen and started his own company called Edubytes Fiji Ltd. Pacificpainters is a brand of Edubytes Fiji Ltd, and the focus of this company is not only to be sustainable through contract work but also to encourage the ongoing professional development of the painting and decorating industry in the Pacific. He would define Pacificpainters more as education than anything else.
Michael supports his painters in gaining the full painting and decorating qualification and to think about a future where they will run their own companies or teams one day. He not only provides trade training but also provides business development training for his staff through the Pacific Academy for Skill Sets - www.gainskills.net another brand of Edubuytes Fiji Ltd that provides education and training online.
Father to Son
Blayd Farrugia, Michael's son has been at the end of a paint brush since he was very little. He grew up around the trade and always expressed a desire to follow his father into the trade.
Blayd arrived in Fiji when he was very young and has grown up in Fiji. He understands the challenges that most of his friends face with communication and limited opportunities.
Along with his father he is very proud to be part of Pacificpainters and to pass on his enthusiasm for the trade to other young people.
One day Blayd will run Pacificpainters on his own, and he understands the importance of helping others gain skills and experience.
Blayd grew up around Worldskills competitions and always dreamed that one day he will compete too In the category of painting & decorating. 2011 Blayd had the privilege of going to the Brisbane regional competition as part of the team supporting the only competitor from Fiji for Worldskills. During the preparation for the competition he participated in the activities and demonstrated he had the skills to compete, He has a goal of competing in the 2015 regional games and if he wins, competing in the 2017 Australian nationals.
"In the future when I am running the company I want to know that the people that compete on quotes for tenders are people that are skilled and in some way have been influenced or educated by my father." Blayd Farrugia