Two hundred and seventeen new graduates will help boost Samoa’s economy after completing Australian-standard qualifications in technical and vocational programs from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC).
The achievements of the graduates, including more than 100 women and three people with disabilities, were celebrated at a graduation ceremony in Apia on 16 March 2023.
The graduating cohort also included staff from key government organisations such as the Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services, Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Qualifications Authority, National University of Samoa, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Samoa Water Authority, Electric Power Corporation; and Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment.
In his keynote address, Afioga Honourable Seuula Ioane Tuaau, Minister for Education, Sports and Culture, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to put their new qualifications and skills into practice as part of Samoa’s growing workforce.
“Gaining new skills and knowledge plays an important part in ensuring our people can continue to access new opportunities, increase their employability, and contribute to national development,” he said.
The Minister made special mention of the women graduates, seven of whom were awarded qualifications in the construction and plumbing trades.
“You are role models for other women who may want to take up a similar career pathway. I am sure you will use your qualifications to contribute to the socio-economic development of our communities.”
He acknowledged Australia’s support to strengthening the national Post-School Education and Training (PSET) sector that is enabling Samoans to gain high-standard qualifications and valuable training for sustainable employment and livelihoods.
In her closing remarks, the Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Samoa, Claire McGeechan, commended the graduates for their commitment to their studies and wished them the best as they embarked on new chapters in their professional careers.
“Education is not just a key to unlocking individual potential, but a catalyst to uplifting entire communities. Your achievements today will contribute not only to you and your family’s prosperity, but also to the prosperity of your nation,” she said.
She also highlighted that APTC’s partnerships with organisations like the National University of Samoa (NUS), Nuanua O Le Alofa (NOLA) and the Samoa Qualifications Authority (SQA) in promoting high quality, inclusive and relevant TVET in Samoa.
“Such partnerships contribute to the outcomes in Samoa’s Education Sector Plan, focusing on the strengthening of the national TVET sector to address education and skills needs, particularly for sectors hardest hit by COVID-19,” she added.
Under the APTC-NOLA partnership, two people with disabilities graduated with Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20119), and one graduated with Certificate I in Construction (CPC10111).
The proud graduates completed courses in areas such as Construction, Plumbing, Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, Commercial Cookery, Hospitality, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration, Electrotechnology Technician, Engineering – Fabrication Trade, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Education Support, Community Services, Tourism, International Skills Training (IST), and Leadership and Management.
The new graduates join more than 18,000 alumni, including over 2200 Samoans, who have been supported by Australia to be trained by APTC.