Twenty I-Kiribati nationals were awarded Australian qualifications in nine technical and vocational programs, during the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) graduation ceremony in Betio on 14 November 2018.
As Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program, APTC has helped over 13,000 Pacific women and men, including over 440 I-Kiribati nationals, gain internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers.
The new graduates received certificates in carpentry, commercial cookery, early childhood education, fabrication trade, hospitality, light vehicle mechanical technology, painting and decorating, plumbing and wall and floor tiling.
While delivering the keynote address, Kiribati Minister for Employment and Human Resource, Honourable Ioteba Redfern, congratulated the new graduates and urged them to share their APTC knowledge and skills with their colleagues and communities.
He acknowledged the four women who also graduated during the ceremony, including Joyce Tekautu, the only female mechanic with the Kiribati Police. To date, over 170 I-Kiribati women have undertaken studies at APTC.
Hon. Redfern congratulated APTC on entering its third stage. In the new stage, APTC will continue to deliver high quality, internationally recognised training that ensures graduates have improved employment outcomes while also focusing on supporting greater investment in skills training and higher quality TVET delivery across the Pacific.
Acknowledging APTC’s strong relationship with the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) that has enabled I-Kiribati nationals studying at KIT to upskill with Australian qualifications at APTC, Hon. Redfern said he looks forward to seeing greater engagement between the two institutions in the new stage.
Australian High Commissioner to Kiribati, His Excellency Bruce Cowled extended the best wishes of the Australian Government to the new graduates and encouraged them to seek employment and educational opportunities in Kiribati and abroad.
The new graduates have studied at APTC campuses in Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa.