A total of 33 graduates successfully completed qualifications in internationally recognised Australian-courses from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in Labasa today.
This was the fifth cohort of students to graduate under the European Union (EU)-funded Training Support to the Fijian Sugarcane Industry Project.
To date, more than 1,600 people have been trained under the project, which focuses on providing a training program that improves the livelihoods of the sugarcane dependent populations by promoting income generation through sugarcane farming or alternative livelihoods.
The Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific, Mr Corrado Pampaloni said, "The EU is proud to support this tailor-made training which truly responds to the needs of the people working in the sugar sector, in particular the farmers and workers in the industry. Partnering up with the Australian Government and the APTC has proven highly effective in enhancing the capacities and skills of these people. And this is a crucial contribution that ensures people have safety nets and earn their living with dignity."
The graduates included staff of the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC), the Sugar Cane Growers Fund (SCGF), Sugar Cane Growers Council (SCGC), Sugar Industry Tribunal (SIT), and the Sugar Research Institute of Fiji (SRIF).
The students graduated in Certificate III and IV level qualifications in four different areas, including leadership and management, electrotechnology, plumbing and engineering.
In his keynote address, FSC Labasa Mill General Manager, Mr Karia Christopher said, “The training that APTC has provided is internationally-recognised, providing up-to-date industry knowledge and skills that will enable Fiji’s sugarcane industry employees to improve their productivity and efficiency at the workplace and share these skills and knowledge with their colleagues.”
Of the total number of graduates, 24 students graduated with Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, seven students gradated with Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, and one each in Certificate III in Plumbing and Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Diesel Fitting – Heavy).
This was the second APTC graduation ceremony to be held in Labasa after a total of 37 employees of the FSC Labasa Mill had graduated with qualifications in six different courses in December last year.
The project was established through an agreement of delegated cooperation between the EU and the Australian Government and complements EU’s Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol (AMSP 2013) programme.
The Australian Government engaged APTC to deliver training to the Fiji sugar industry workers under the project.
A graduation ceremony for the final cohort of 124 sugarcane industry employees trained under the project will be held in Lautoka next week.