“As you walk out of this room, you will have an internationally recognised qualification in your hand certifying your skills. Guard it well and use it. The Republic of Nauru needs you and your skills to build a sustainable workforce and contribute to addressing the country’s needs.”
This was the key message delivered by Honourable Richard-Hyde Menke MP, the Deputy Minister for Education in Nauru, at the graduation ceremony of 21 Nauru nationals hosted by the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) at the University of the South Pacific Nauru Campus on Wednesday 16 October 2019.
Deputy Minster Menke said the graduation day was a reminder of past trials and successes as well as hope for the future for the new graduates.
He acknowledged the continued efforts of APTC and its vision towards a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce that enhances Pacific prosperity.
“The Government of Nauru appreciates the support of the Government of Australia in training more than 100 Nauru nationals through APTC since 2008, of whom 73 per cent are women,” Deputy Minister Menke said.
The 2019 graduating cohort comprised two Nauru nationals who received certificates in Carpentry after undertaking training with APTC in Vanuatu. The remaining 19 students were trained in Nauru by APTC trainers and received certificates in Community Services and awards in International Skills Training. HOST International and Nauru TVET were instrumental in facilitating the on-island training for APTC.
The Deputy Minister also acknowledged the nine women graduates at the ceremony, and urged all graduates to use their trade skills as they re-enter the workforce in Nauru and abroad.
As Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program in the Pacific, APTC has trained over 14,000 Pacific Islanders since 2007, including more than 100 Nauru nationals.
Among the graduating cohort was a class of 11 current and emerging trainers and training managers from different TVET providers in Nauru, who will use their new skills to continue delivering high quality training in Nauru.
Deputy Minister Menke said he looked forward to working closely with APTC’s Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Anna Naupa, who was present at the ceremony, and the soon-to-be appointed APTC Country Engagement and Liaison Coordinator to enable more Nauru nationals to gain Australian qualifications that will provide them with employment opportunities in a range of vocational careers.
Now in its third stage, APTC will continue delivering high quality, internationally recognised training to improve graduates’ employment outcomes, support greater investment in skills training, and promote higher quality TVET delivery across the Pacific.
APTC’s Chief Operating Officer, Edward Armstrong, who provided the conferral for graduates, acknowledged Nauru’s leadership in launching the Pacific Skills Partnership in Yaren in 2018, under the umbrella of the Pacific Islands Forum.
“APTC is a committed partner to skills development in the Pacific, and is actively working with Pacific island countries to enhance skills and career pathways for Pacific prosperity,” Mr Armstrong said.
Extending the Australian Government’s best wishes, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Nauru, Sonya Gray, acknowledged the Government of Nauru’s work in advancing skills development and reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to helping elevate TVET standards in the Pacific.
“Skilled employment means greater opportunities for a better income, which can improve livelihoods for all. The Australian Government will continue working with APTC to make sure that training meets employer needs for jobs now and in the future, as well as self-employment opportunities,” Ms Gray said.
Families and friends, government representatives, as well as industry and TVET partners witnessed the APTC graduation ceremony and wished the new graduates well for the future.