At the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation ceremony in Suva today, 152 Fijian nationals graduated with internationally recognised Australian-standard qualifications in 21 different programs.
APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government and has trained over 12,000 Pacific graduates since it commenced in 2007. The college provides internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Fiji’s Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Mereseini Vuniwaqa, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to make the best use of their new skills for the development of Fiji.
“Fiji has had the great privilege of contributing to the largest number of graduates for the college. This is indeed a historic achievement for APTC in the development of TVET in Fiji and the region as a whole. I hope to continue to see more Fijians gain Australian standard skills and qualifications from APTC,” she said.
“Training institutions like APTC make an invaluable contribution to Fijian society, especially to women, children and those working with people with disabilities, who are now active members of the Fijian workforce. The contributions made by APTC are invaluable and will make a lasting impression on the lives of all its graduates for many years to come,” she added.
The Minister acknowledged the 66 women that were part of the graduation ceremony, taking the total to over 1500 Fijian women who have graduated from APTC.
She made a special mention of the six women who were awarded qualifications in trade courses that included diesel fitting, light vehicle mechanical trade and painting and decorating.
The largest graduating group comprised 26 students who gained qualifications in Certificate III Applied Fashion Design and Technology and Certificate IV in Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising.
In his closing remarks, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, HE John Feakes, said Australia is proud to support the education of talented Pacific Island women and men.
“After all your hard work, perseverance and sacrifices - and driven by your determination to make a difference in the world - you are sitting here today at the finish line. Stand tall and proud with your newfound skills and knowledge and embrace this feeling of accomplishment and achievement. You have earned it.”
Students received qualifications in applied fashion design and technology, carpentry, commercial cookery, electrotechnology electrician, engineering, hospitality, light vehicle mechanical technology, painting and decorating, patisserie, plumbing, tourism, wall and floor tiling, disability, leadership and management, and youth work.