The joyous conclusion of the training journeys for 71 Samoan women and men was recently celebrated by the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program in the Pacific.
Since its commencement in 2007, APTC has trained over 16,000 Pacific women and men, including more than 1900 Samoans.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on 25 March, caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi congratulated the graduates with special commendation to the 36 females receiving their certificates.
He encouraged more females to take up trades and step outside of traditional roles and emphasised the value of TVET as skills development.
He also thanked the Australian Government for their contribution in providing opportunities for Pacific people including Samoans, to upskill through APTC.
The graduation ceremony also celebrated eight persons with disabilities who graduated from the Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20113) program. They were referred by APTC’s partner organisation - Nuanua O le Alofa (NOLA) Disability Advocacy Organisation.
The APTC Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Strategic Framework ensures the furthering of equity and accessibility priorities, such as targeting equitable employment outcomes for women, persons living with disabilities and students from rural, remote, maritime and small island states. As such, the NOLA cohort’s completion of their training was an achievement not only for the graduates, but also for APTC.
In closing, Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Sara Moriarty made special mention of the NOLA graduates.
“As a strong supporter of enhancing access and opportunities for people living with disabilities, we congratulate you for this proud achievement and encourage you to continue to inspire others in breaking barriers and leaving no one behind.”
On behalf of the graduates, Susana Sefo Evile, a Certificate III in Education Support (CHC30213) graduate, expressed thanks to families, friends and trainers for their support.
“The last six months have been all about learning and discovering and now it is time to take what we have learnt into the wider world. As we share our responsibility to use what we have learnt to the best of our abilities, to take the fruits of our efforts to plant them in a new field to watch our lives and minds grow.”
The graduates attained a wide range of qualifications, including in education support, fabrication, hospitality, leadership and management and International Skills Training.