Over 170 students graduate from APTC in Fiji
On Friday, 06 November 2015, 173 students were awarded Australian qualifications from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) at the Australia Pacific Theatre, University of the South Pacific, Suva. APTC CEO Denise O’Brien hosted over 400 invited guests at the graduation, including DFAT and APTC staff, graduates’ families, employers and industry representatives. The graduation ceremony provided an opportunity to recognise the achievements of APTC’s Fiji graduates.
This is the third APTC graduation ceremony in Fiji this year and the first for APTC Fiji’s new Country Manager Jonathan Todd.
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Earlier this year APTC was also recognised as an approved institution under the education assistance provided to students who want to pay their tuition fees from the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF). APTC is one of only seven approved institutions listed for education assistance under the FNPF.
The graduates successfully completed studies in Australian Certificate III and Certificate IV level courses including: Allied Health Assistance/Health Services Assistance, Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Electrical, Fabrication, Diesel Fitting, Fitting and Machining, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Home and Aged Care, Hospitality, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Tourism, Wall and Floor Tiling, Community Development, Disability, Training and Assessment and Youth Work.
Thirteen of these courses were delivered in the Fiji campus while other courses were delivered in the APTC campuses in PNG, Samoa and Vanuatu.
Three women graduated in this ceremony with trade qualifications with one graduate in each of the following qualifications: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling and Certificate III in Painting and Decorating.
Twenty-four students graduated with the Certificate III in Applied Fashion Design and Technology. This is an industry based program and this group is the third group to graduate from this program.
In June, APTC acknowledged Mark One Apparel in providing its factory as a venue for the delivery of the Applied Fashion program and encouraging the up-skilling of its employees. The training included employees from United Apparel, Mark One Apparel, Lyndhurst, Country Outfitter, PFD Fiji Ltd as well as students from Fiji Fashion week and the Fashion Council.
APTC is achieving its targets through partnership arrangements and connections with industry, employers, community and government at national, regional and international levels.
In his graduate address, George Petueli said “the trainers and tutors, the tools available and the training environment [at APTC] have enabled us to become better tradespeople. We have learnt to be more precise and accurate, accountable and responsible in whatever we do.” George graduated with Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Fitting & Machining). He has worked for Fiji Sugar Corporation at their Rarawai Mill in Ba as a Fitter and a Rigger for the past 8 years. He also provides basic training for riggers at the mill.
“You have equipped us with skills that match world standards, a benefit to the diverse small company's we come from, a plus for Fiji as a whole,” were the sentiments of George regarding the APTC2Work program which is delivered in all courses and is an innovative approach by APTC to help prepare students to return to their work environment and to develop business skills.
“With an Australian qualification, you [APTC] have not only helped us raise the bar in our chosen fields, but have given the keys to explore opportunities we would have otherwise thought impossible” he further commented.