The Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Hon. Pat Conroy, visited the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in the Solomon Islands to meet with the current cohort of Certificate II in Construction (CPC20120) students.
The site visit on Wednesday, 26 July 2023 was a collaborative effort between APTC, Don Bosco Technical Institute and the Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands. It provided an opportunity for the all-female cohort of about 20 students to share with the Hon. Minister their motivation for pursuing a construction course and breaking barriers in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Two student representatives, class captain, Tamra Waletofea and student, Daisy Rodie, shared their inspiring stories with Hon. Minister Conroy. Their determination to pursue a construction career showcases their drive to achieve their dreams and ambitions, reinforcing the importance of equal access to diverse educational and career opportunities for all individuals, regardless of gender.
During the visit, Hon. Minister Conroy also interacted with APTC students who recently completed the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) (CHC33015) course at the APTC Fiji Campus. The training contributes to increasing compassionate and skilled aged care workers, ensuring the well-being of communities in both Solomon Islands and Australia.
This qualification enables APTC aged care graduates from Solomon Islands to work in Australia and further develop their skills under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, which helps to address workforce shortages for Australian businesses and support the economic growth of Pacific Island countries.
APTC's Country Director for Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Abigail Chang, expressed gratitude for Hon. Minister Conroy's visit, recognising the significance of Australia's strong support in advancing vocational education and skills development in Solomon Islands and across the region.
Ms Chang reiterated APTC’s dedication to fostering partnerships in TVET, and building skills for employment now and into the future.
APTC is Australia’s primary TVET investment in the region, working closely with local industry and national training providers to ensure training provided to students meets domestic and international labour market needs.
Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has trained 2,326 Solomon Islanders, including 1,049 women.