Creating Skills for life


APTC celebrates students’ achievements

Mar 24, 2015

Over 100 students graduated from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) with qualifications in 12 specialised technical and vocational programs during the graduation ceremony held at the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Samoa (EFKS) Hall, in Apia on 24 March 2015.

APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

The event recognised the achievements of students who completed their studies in Allied Health Assistance/Health Services, Carpentry, Children’s Services, Commercial Cookery, Disability, Fabrication, Hospitality Lodge, Nutrition, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Construction, Tourism and Youth Work. 

Keynote speaker at the graduation was the Honourable Prime Minister of Samoa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegao. He said: “Of the 1846 students who have been trained and completed their education at the (APTC) College since 2007 in Samoa, 840 of these students are Samoan citizens not including today’s graduates. This is a huge milestone not only for Samoa but for our Pacific Islands men and women who are educated and have the opportunity to gain Australian standards, skills and qualifications which has given them a very wide benefit of education and careers in the Pacific. This complements the Samoa Government’s vision of ensuring that its people have opportunities for training which will inevitably ensure growth of our country.”

The Prime Minister particularly acknowledged the two women who received the Certificate III in Carpentry. He said: “I congratulate you for taking a leap into a trade widely reserved for males.”

APTC Chief Executive Officer, Denise O’Brien hosted over 100 invited guests who joined family and friends and staff and alumni of the APTC Samoa campus to celebrate the successful completion of APTC programs by the graduates.

The graduation ceremony was the last one for the outgoing APTC Samoa Country Manager, Francis Howes and for Seiuli Paul Wallwork in his role as the Samoan country representative to the APTC Advisory Group.

“The pride and excitement on the faces of the graduates and their families reflects the hard work and achievements of these successful Samoan graduates. Particularly, I want to thank the entire staff of APTC who work so hard every day to help students achieve their goals so they too can achieve an Australian qualification,” said Francis. 

The event marked a number of key highlights which included: 

- For the first time in the Pacific, students who have graduated in Certificate III in Nutrition. All students in this program were Samoans. This program is supported by the Ministry of Health, National Health Service, ADRA, Special Olympics and the Australian Government.

- 16 graduates completed Certificate III in Disability that was delivered on a part time basis to special needs teachers for children with disabilities in primary schools throughout Samoa.

- 13 graduates in Certificate III in Carpentry were previously graduates of the Certificate II in Construction from villages in the south west of Samoa that were devastated by Cyclone Evan. As part of their training, students helped build more than 200 fales in the villages for families from the additional funding made available by the Australian Government. The students underwent a further 15 weeks of training in Fiji to achieve the tradesperson’s qualification of Certificate III in Carpentry. Two of these graduates are women. 

- Training for graduates in Certificate III in Hospitality (Lodge) was provided through the joint collaboration between APTC and the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA). These graduates were employed in the tourism sector which was badly by Cyclone Evan. 

- Training was also delivered to food vendors and stall-holders in Food Hygiene and Preparation as well as other short courses to targeted sectors of the tourism industry in preparation for the Small Island Development States (SIDS) Conference and the Teuila festival. A total of 399 Samoans received training from APTC as part of the Tourism Cyclone Recovery program that was funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.

According to a recent APTC survey, the employment rate of Samoan graduates from APTC was 97 per cent. Over 950 Samoan citizens have graduated (including those that graduated today) from APTC since the college was established in 2007.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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