92 more Papua New Guineans have been upskilled to contribute to the country’s national workforce.
The graduates, funded by Australia, received Certificate III Australian qualifications in six different vocational programs - Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Fabrication Trade, Mechanical Trade, Hospitality and Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition Port Moresby campus last week.
It was the first in-person graduation ceremony again since the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
19 were women graduates, one of them graduated in the Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR30616) program.
12 of the 92 graduates were from the class of 2020 Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Maintenance) Diesel Fitting Pathway (MEM30205) who finally graduated after almost two years due to delays caused by COVID-19.
Colonel Dickers Esso, Chief of Training PNG Defence Force commended the graduates for their perseverance in his keynote address.
“Your achievements have been possible because of your resilience. Your persistence is shows you value your education and desire to upskill yourselves. Take that determination into the workforce and your communities, be the models in your careers and lives,” he told the graduates.
Colonel Esso congratulated two members of the PNG Defence Force who graduated with Certificate III in Commercial Cookery (SIT30816). They were attached to the PNGHMS Tarangau at the Lombrum Naval Base in Manus Province.
“That’s two more added to the pool of trained defence force members who have undertaken APTC training in the past and have used their skills to contribute to the overall productivity of the Defence Force. These skills will help develop and grow various sectors across PNG just including the PNG Defence Force. Importantly, these skills are crucial in the economic recovery of our country post-COVID-19,” he further said.
In her closing remarks, Dr Joanne Loundes, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, said it was pleasing to see more women gain knowledge and work-ready skills in vocational and trade areas.
“These graduates have improved skills that will contribute to a stronger and more inclusive and diverse workforce and ultimately the benefits that everyone can enjoy,” she said.
Dr Loundes added that Australia’s support towards Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in PNG through programs like the APTC will increase and improve skills for growth industries and build links between TVET and labour mobility opportunities in Australia.
Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has trained over 3700 PNG nationals, including 1035 women.