Sixty-five new graduates, including 35 women, were supported by Australia to complete their vocational programs from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) to facilitate a skilled workforce in Vanuatu.
These achievements were recognised at a graduation ceremony in Port Vila on 30 March 2023.
The graduates received qualifications in five programs – Education Support, Carpentry, Air- conditioning and Refrigeration, Tourism, and International Skills Training (IST).
In her keynote address, the Chief Executive Officer of Hello Vanuatu, Celine Mates, congratulated the graduates and said their future endeavours would contribute to the socio-economic development of Vanuatu.
“Make the best use of this opportunity. Whatever you do, even if it might be small, it will surely contribute to the development of Vanuatu,” she said.
The graduation featured 28 Education Support program graduates, which was the largest cohort from the five programs. Four of these graduates have been offered scholarships to study for Bachelor’s Degrees in Education at the National University of Vanuatu.
Education Support program graduate, Kalan Harry, encouraged his fellow graduates to be proud of the learning experiences of their APTC journey.
“Take pride in how far you’ve come. As long as we enjoy the paths that we take and make the right choices, we will continue to enjoy our careers. Thank you APTC for making a difference in our lives.”
In her closing remarks, Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu, H.E. Heidi Bootle, commended the graduates for their commitment to their studies and wished them well as they advance their careers.
“Australia is a long-term partner of Vanuatu in the skills sector. We share the same goal that everyone who wants to learn a skill should have access to high-quality training opportunities,” she added. “As you practice what you have learnt and share this knowledge with your colleagues you are contributing to a more skilled workforce in Vanuatu.”
She reiterated that supporting women and girls to have equal access to educational and employment opportunities is a priority for Australia across all its partnerships in the Pacific.
APTC is one of Australia’s technical and vocational education and training programs in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, contributing to a more skilled, inclusive and productive workforce for Vanuatu and the region.
The new graduates join over 2,400 Vanuatu nationals who were trained previously by APTC. Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has provided training and skills to over 18,000 graduates from the region.