The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), Australia’s flagship program, has achieved a milestone of reaching 10 years of providing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Pacific.
The APTC was established in 2007 after it was announced by the Australian Government at the Pacific Islands Forum. Since then, the College has provided internationally-recognised Australian skills and qualifications to more than 11,000 Pacific Islanders from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries.
The 10-year anniversary will be celebrated in Samoa with a series of events and activities that coincided with the graduation of the latest cohort of 78 Samoan graduates on 12 September 2017.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Honourable Afioga Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi congratulated APTC for achieving the 10-year milestone.
“I remember when the idea to establish APTC was first brought up by the Australian Prime Minister at the Pacific Islands Forum. Pacific Island leaders including myself, as the Chair of the Forum, supported Australia’s offer of setting up APTC in the Pacific region. Since then APTC has grown considerably and I am delighted to witness how much the College has achieved in Samoa and the Pacific over the last 10 years.”
He said APTC’s presence in Samoa is providing Samoans with the opportunity to access quality Australian education.
“The graduands here today, are an example of a job-ready workforce that is now equipped to make a difference and help drive social and economic development of this country. We hope to continue working with partners like Australia and APTC for advancing Samoa's education outcomes and targeted skill development,” he added.
The new APTC graduates now join 1390 Samoan nationals, of which over 630 are women.
The graduating class included 18 pioneer students of APTC’s Certificate III in Educational Support, designed to upskill teaching aides and training assistants to support and boost inclusive education in Samoa.
Two of the 25 pioneer students of APTC’s Master Trainer program also graduated. They will now be able to work and train others in the carpentry and automotive industry areas.
In her closing remarks to the graduates, Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Ms Sue Langford said, “It is an honour and a pleasure to witness this very special graduation. Since 2007, the APTC – in Samoa and across the Pacific – has been celebrated for its quality training and its contribution to individual development and economic growth.”
APTC’s Samoan alumni from 2008 to 2017 held a special procession during the start of the graduation ceremony to commemorate the anniversary.
In addition to Samoa, 10-year anniversary celebrations are being planned for APTC campuses in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.