Twenty-six students graduated in a ceremony at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus at Port Moresby Technical College on Monday, 10 December 2012.
The guest of honour was Ms Margaret Adamson, Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.
It was a significant occasion for both the students and the APTC, the Australian Government-funded teaching institution with campuses and training centres throughout the Pacific.
The range of graduates gives an idea of the diversity of teaching programs the APTC offers in Papua New Guinea. The PNG graduates had completed their certificates from the School of Trades and Technology from the following areas: Systems Electrician, Carpentry, Painting & Decorating, Diesel Fitting and Refrigeration Air-conditioning. Seven more electrical students, one of which is a female, will graduate next week in the Solomon Islands.
The range of APTC courses that are delivered on the campus of the Port Moresby Technical College (POMTech) is set to expand substantially. At present training focuses on trades such as Carpentry and Construction, Systems Electrician, Light Automotive Mechanical, and Engineering (Diesel Fitting, Fabrication and Welding), carried out with the support of POMTech and APTC industry training partners Hastings Deering and Boroko Motors.
From the beginning of 2013 the Port Moresby campus will also offer Hospitality, Tourism, Health and Community Services programs, which up till now have only been available in APTC campuses in Vanuatu, Samoa and Fiji. Additional facilities to deliver these programs are now being built, following funding approval by the AusAID regional program.
This expansion is an important milestone in the development of the solid partnership between APTC and Port Moresby Technical College. It’s also a significant testament to the ongoing partnership between the governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia. The new development is “demand-driven” and has grown out of the enthusiasm of the tourism and hospitality industries in Papua New Guinea to improve their standards and expand their industry through increasing the local workforce.
Papua New Guinea has been a vital field of activity in the APTC’s mission to offer Australian training and Australian qualifications to students since APTC was established in 2007. In that time 1067 Papua New Guineas have graduated after being awarded APTC scholarships. A further 450 graduates were sponsored by their employers.
Along with the Deputy High Commissioner, guests at Monday’s ceremony and graduation luncheon included PNG government officers, Ms Jane Christie (AusAID Education Program), APTC industry partners, suppliers, alumni and staff joined the graduates to share a graduation cake.
The presence at the graduation of guests from so many areas of PNG life emphasises the solid partnership the APTC in PNG has established with its host country and industry partners.
“This is an important occasion for every graduate. We are very proud of their achievements,” says APTC Country Manager for PNG, Mr Trevor Birney. “APTC is working in PNG and across the Pacific to up-skill the indigenous workforce to lay a solid foundation for further social development through workforce participation in economic development. These graduates are well equipped to contribute to PNG’s economic growth.”