The latest cohort of Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) graduates in the Solomon Islands has been hailed as role models of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
This was the key message delivered by the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, at the APTC graduation ceremony in Honiara on Wednesday 26 February, 2020.
One hundred and six Solomon Islanders, including 63 women, graduated with internationally recognised qualifications and awards in 17 technical and vocational programs.
Qualifications awarded at the ceremony were in the areas of: Hospitality, Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration, Applied Fashion and Design, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Education Support, Fabrication Trade, Mechanical Trade (Maintenance) Diesel Fitting Pathway, Hospitality, Individual Support, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Tourism, and Wall and Floor Tiling.
Dr Rodgers congratulated and commended the graduates for their achievements and hard work in attaining an Australian qualification.
“I encourage APTC graduates to go on to use your exceptional skills and contribute to developing your respective industries and the economy as a whole. You all are role models of how TVET can be a choice for a futureproofed career that drives economic progress in our country and the region,” Dr Rodgers said.
He acknowledged the support of families, friends, development partners and employers in the graduates’ student journey, and their transformational role in fostering a supportive environment for creating skills for life.
Dr Rodgers also paid recognition to the cohort’s 63 women graduates, of whom 13 completed Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) and were interviewed for employment opportunities under the Pacific Labour Scheme while studying at APTC in Fiji.
In his closing address to graduates, Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Dr Lachlan Strahan, said Australia is committed to working with the government and all stakeholders to improve access to quality TVET and to strengthen key education institutions in the country.
“I am very pleased to announce that the Australian Government has significantly increased its funding for APTC in Solomon Islands. That means more Solomon Islanders will be able to gain internationally recognised qualifications,” Dr Strahan said.
He added that with this additional funding, APTC will provide more training to Solomon Islanders to ensure they are competitive for labour mobility programs, in line with the Solomon Islands Government’s priorities.
As Australia’s flagship TVET program, APTC has trained over 15,000 Pacific women and men, including more than 1,100 men and more than 860 women in Solomon Islands, since its commencement in 2007.