Nine students of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) were all smiles as they were awarded Australian qualifications at a graduation ceremony in Tuvalu on 14 March 2018.
APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government that provides Australian-standard skills and qualifications across a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific. During the time the APTC has been operating, over 12,000 Pacific Islanders, including 100 Tuvalu nationals, have graduated.
The new graduates, of which six are women, were awarded certificates in airconditioning and refrigeration, early childhood education and care, disability, hospitality and youth work.
While delivering the keynote address, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Maatia Toafa, congratulated the new graduates on their hard-earned achievements and said it was important for Tuvalu nationals to continue to pursue further studies through vocational training institutes like APTC.
Hon. Toafa made a special mention of the women who graduated during the ceremony, and reaffirmed the Tuvalu Government’s commitment to gender equality and education through the National Gender Policy and Tuvalu National Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016 – 2020.
“The Tuvalu Government strongly supports economic empowerment of women and participation of women at all levels of decision making,” he said.
Hon. Toafa also acknowledged the Australian Government for supporting the training and skills development of Tuvalu nationals and other Pacific Islanders through the APTC.
The Australian High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Amy Crago, encouraged the new graduates to use their APTC skills to contribute towards the development of Tuvalu and wished them well in their future endeavours.
“You have attained skills and experience which will not only serve you well in your career but will help advance the trades in which you work,” Ms Crago said.
Graduates’ families, friends and representatives from various government ministries and industry attended the graduation ceremony.