More than 120 students of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) were awarded qualifications in 13 skills areas at the APTC graduation ceremony held on 6 September at Maranatha Hall in Honiara.
To date, over 1000 Solomon Islanders have graduated with APTC qualifications. APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, keynote speaker, Ms Selina Boso, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural Development, said, “the graduation ceremony is very special as we witness the payback of hard work, perseverance, commitment, courage and extra efforts displayed by 122 special people in their strive for higher education, which in the end, contributes to improved skills in productivity and livelihoods of oneself, families, communities and the Solomon Islands as a country.”
She urged the graduates to make best use of the skills they obtained during their training at APTC and contribute towards generating employment, especially in the rural economy, to achieve economic growth and development in the Solomon Islands.
A particular highlight of the graduation was the presentation of certificates to more than fifty emerging leaders from the Solomon Islands private sector for completing Australian qualifications in leadership and management, training and assessment, hospitality, and business skills as part of the Australia funded Speciality Skills for Business Program.
Counsellor for Human Development for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Solomon Islands, Ms Melissa Stutsel, congratulated the new graduates in her closing address.
“Australia developed the Speciality Skills for Business program after hearing from the Solomon Islands business community that it wanted more opportunities to build its workforce capacity” Ms Stutsel said.
“We listened closely to understand the key skill areas that the private sector wanted to build, and I am pleased to see that those conversations have led us here today, where we can celebrate the attainment of these Australian qualifications by your staff, in these priority skills areas”
One particular skill area which the Speciality Skills for Business program addressed was in leadership and management, with over forty private sector staff completing the Australia Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, the first time such a course has been delivered in Solomon Islands.
Continuing APTC’s proud tradition of supporting equal access to high quality vocational training for men and women, a total of 54 women graduated in a range of courses, including Electrotechnology Electrician and Plumbing at the ceremony.
APTC is also working with the Australian Government’s Skills for Economic Growth Program to support further development of the skills sector in Solomon Islands and continues to collaborate with the Solomon Islands Government and TVET providers to deliver high quality training to Solomon Islanders.
APTC will continue to deliver a range of courses both in Solomon Islands and at its five other campus countries throughout the Pacific over the coming years.
For more information on APTC and its courses, check out www.aptc.edu.au or visit the APTC office in Point Cruz, across from ITA Hardware.