Today, 57 Fijians celebrated completing Australian qualifications as they graduated from 17 different technical and vocational programs from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in Nadi.
The APTC is a flagship program of the Australian Government and has trained over 12,000 Pacific graduates since it commenced in 2007. The college provides internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers.
While delivering the keynote address at the ceremony in Nadi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA), Ms Fantasha Lockington, commended the graduates for their hard work and dedication, and encouraged them to continue learning.
“As recipients of an internationally recognised Australian qualification, you have been equipped with up-to-date skills and knowledge that are in line with various industry demands. This means you have the power to raise the standard of work and share the skills you have learned with colleagues in your workplaces,” she told graduates.
Among the graduates were 16 women, the majority of whom graduated in the tourism and hospitality programs. To date, APTC has produced over 880 Fijian graduates in the hospitality and tourism sectors, contributing to a more skilled workforce for the Fijian tourism industry.
The graduation also saw the first group of graduates in Certificate IV in Leadership and Management under a new partnership with the Fiji Higher Education Commission. The APTC and the Commission are working together to build the capacity of those working in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector.
The Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Mr John Feakes, said, “Higher education opens the door to a raft of opportunities. I am very pleased that Australia, through the APTC, has helped Fijians like you to be able to make the most of those opportunities. Your sheer hard work, perseverance and sacrifice has paid off. With your proven determination to succeed, I’m confident that you’ll all make a difference in your communities with your newfound skills and knowledge.”
The graduates were awarded qualifications in carpentry, cookery, electrotechnology, fabrication, diesel fitting, disability, fitting and machining, hospitality, leadership and management, light vehicle mechanical technology, painting and decorating, patisserie, plumbing, tourism and youth work.
Apart from the graduation in Nadi, two more ceremonies will be held in Labasa in April and in Suva in May.