A total of 18 Kiribati nationals from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) proudly received internationally recognised Australian standard qualifications in six different technical and vocational programs at the APTC graduation ceremony on Kiritimati Island on 6 June 2018.
APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government that has trained over 12,000 Pacific graduates, including 440 Kiribati nationals since it commenced in 2007. The college provides internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers.
The graduating students received qualifications in airconditioning and refrigeration, carpentry, hospitality, light vehicle mechanical technology, painting and decorating and plumbing during the ceremony.
While delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Line and Phoenix Island Development, Honourable Mikarite Temari, congratulated the new graduates on their achievements and encouraged them to share their new skills with others in their workplace and communities.
He made a special mention of the five women who graduated during the ceremony, including one woman who received Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology. To date, more than 175 Kiribati women have graduated with a qualification from APTC.
The Minister further thanked APTC for delivering vocational training that is enabling Kiribati nationals gain Australian skills and qualifications, which is providing them with education opportunities and helping build a more qualified population to achieve sustainable economic growth.
“The key focus of the Line and Phoenix Islands Integrated Development Strategy 2016-2036, which is an extension of the Kiribati National Development Plan 2016-2019, is to achieve sustainable inclusive development. A key indicator is growth in academic and trade skills and APTC graduates are helping achieve this goal. There are currently no tertiary or vocational institutions on the Line Islands, hence the training provided by APTC is a much welcomed opportunity,” he added.
Hon. Temari also acknowledged the support of the Australian Government towards providing skills and training for people in Kiritimati and remote islands.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Kiribati, His Excellency Mr Bruce Cowled, said, “it is pleasing to see another large group of I-Kiribati from the Line Islands graduate from APTC, including women and men who have achieved qualifications in non-traditional areas. Congratulations to everyone on their success.”
The new graduates completed their studies at APTC campuses in Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa. This was the second APTC graduation ceremony for Kiribati this year.