More than 100 Samoan nationals received Australian qualifications after successfully completing their technical and vocational programs from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) on 27 March 2018.
APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government, providing skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Honourable Afioga Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi, congratulated the new graduates and encouraged them to continue working hard, be innovative and remain committed.
“It is your responsibility to work together and take Samoa forward. Remember you are future leaders of this country. I urge you all to make meaningful contributions that will not only make a difference in shaping your future but also the future of our beloved nation,” he said.
There were a total of 53 women graduates at the ceremony. Of these, 10 were recipients of the Certificate IV in Leadership and Management qualification.
The Prime Minister said that women play a crucial role in families and societies, and by upskilling women with good leadership skills, they can help drive positive development outcomes.
“The Government of Samoa fully promotes gender equality and wants to ensure active contribution and participation of both Samoan women and men in all spheres, and at all levels, of development and decision making,” he mentioned.
The Prime Minister thanked Australia for its ongoing support to Samoa, and added, that through initiatives like APTC, Australia is helping Samoa build a skilled workforce that can access new and improved employment opportunities, both nationally and internationally.
The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Sara Moriarty said Australia continues to support the Government of Samoa in improving educational outcomes and employment opportunities for the people of Samoa.
“I am extremely proud to witness the results of Australia’s support to education and employment pathways through APTC.”
Out of the 104 graduates, 51 per cent are women, with one woman graduating in two Diploma level qualifications.
To date, over 1500 Samoan nationals have gained Australian qualifications through APTC, of which, close to 700 are women.
The largest group of students to graduate at this ceremony were in the Certificate III in Educational Support program with 21 Samoan nationals.
This program was introduced last year to support inclusive education through training of teaching assistants, who would be able to better identify children’s individual needs, to ensure improved learning outcomes are achieved.
The graduates were awarded in 17 different programs which included: carpentry, commercial cookery, community services, disability, early childhood education and care, education support, electro-technology electrician, fabrication trade, mechanical trade, hospitality, leadership and management, light vehicle mechanical technology, plumbing, tourism, training design and development, vocational education and training, and youth work.