Creating Skills for life

2023 News Archive

Proud APTC graduates celebrate their success with guests at the graduation ceremony in Apia, Samoa..

More women graduates to contribute to a skilled Samoan workforce

Oct 18, 2023

More than 100 new graduates in Samoa celebrated their Australian-standard qualifications in technical and vocational programs through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), marking an increase in the number of women graduates.

The achievements of the 103 graduates, including more than 60 women and three persons with disabilities, were celebrated at a graduation ceremony in Apia, Samoa on 28 September 2023.

In his keynote address, Minister for Education and Culture, Afioga Honorable Seuula Ioane Tuaau, congratulated the graduates and acknowledged their employers, families and trainers for their unwavering support throughout their learning journey.

He also recognised the contributions and dedicated efforts of the women graduates.

“A key highlight of today’s graduation is the increase in the number of women graduates, compared to our previous APTC graduation. We have more than 60 women graduates who have successfully completed their technical and vocational programs. Fifteen of these women are graduating in construction and plumbing,” he said.

The Acting Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Ms Claire McGeechan, highlighted the contribution of APTC in facilitating programs and courses targeted towards building the knowledge and skills of workers in the public and private sectors, particularly with capacity gaps.

“As reflected in the Samoa Education Sector Plan 2019-2024, TVET is a critical tool for improving productivity and reducing unemployment rates, particularly for youth and school leavers,” she said.

She also highlighted APTC’s commitment to supporting the Government of Samoa to build resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters by improving Samoa’s infrastructure, as well as the importance of tackling exclusion in the workplace.

“These programs are also committed to mainstreaming gender equality, women's empowerment and social inclusion to tackle existing barriers and all forms of exclusion in workplaces and communities,” Ms McGeechan added.

Elizabeth Neemia Ah Poe, a female graduate who had little experience and knowledge of construction a year ago, felt empowered after completing her Construction course.

“I was introduced to construction basics when I attended the Work, Health and Safety short course in our district as a representative from our church women’s committee. Completing the course has empowered me as a woman to explore and apply for job opportunities such as a site manager, carpenter or a construction supervisor,” Ms Ah Poe said.

The new graduates were awarded qualifications in Carpentry, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Plumbing, Construction, Tourism, Hospitality, Commercial Cookery, Community Services, Individual Support, Leadership and Management, Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways and International Skills (IST) Training Trainer and Assessor courses.

The graduating cohort also included staff from key government organisations such as the Samoa Water Authority, Samoa Electric Power Corporation, the Samoa Fire Emergency Services Authority and the Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services, who completed accredited courses in Leadership and Management, Community Services, IST and Plumbing.

Through the APTC, Australia has supported the training of over 19,000 graduates in the region, including over 2,200 Samoans since 2007.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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