The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) welcomed more than 700 Pacific Island students undertaking training in technical and vocational courses with a two-day orientation program.
The orientation sessions at APTC campuses in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu on 16 and 17 January, provided valuable information to new students on APTC facilities, student support services, regulations, and their responsibilities.
APTC is an innovative development program funded by the Australian Government, delivering internationally-recognised Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
APTC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Denise O’Brien, warmly welcomed the students, encouraging them to make the most of their time at APTC.
“We want to ensure you have access to personal development and the ability to build your expertise to enable you to be a valuable employee and contributor to your family and community. Study hard, commit to a high standard of work ethic and do everything in your power to make the most of the opportunity that has been presented to you,” she said.
Ms O’Brien added she looks forward to seeing students successfully complete their six-month programs, and join the growing pool of over 10,000 APTC graduates.
The orientation program has been a great learning experience for students who had to travel out of their home countries to study, like Mr Tana Maalo.
“I want to gain new skills and experiences during the next six months so that, when I return to Samoa, I can get a better paid job to support my family and also tell other youths that there are such training opportunities available for them,” he said.
Mr Maalo is pursuing Certificate IV in Youth Work at APTC’s Vanuatu campus.
For Ms Annette Lavenia, undertaking a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical (Machining) at the Fiji campus, the orientation program has helped her make new friends.
She hopes to showcase her newfound knowledge and skills to her employer when she returns after completing her APTC studies.
Another student, Mr Manase Taufa, said he was grateful for the opportunity to study at APTC. Mr Taufa will be undertaking the Automotive Master Trainer course which combines two vocational qualifications – Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
The qualification will allow Mr Taufa, an instructor at the Tonga Institute of Science and Technology, to work and train others in the automotive industry.
“I believe this course is tailored towards developing my skills to gain experience in practical and theoretical methods of delivery and contribute towards the development of the automotive industry in Tonga,” he said.
During orientation, students met their trainers and tutors and received information on classes, APTC’s e-learning platform MyVillage, and about health and wellbeing. Students also toured the campuses, and various training centres, as well as the city and accommodation areas.