Creating Skills for life

2024 News Archive

APTC graduates and guests at the graduation ceremony in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

74 Solomon Islanders graduate with job-ready skills

Mar 22, 2024

Seventy-four Solomon Islanders have successfully graduated from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) after completing nine vocational programs.

Among the graduates were 51 women and 23 men who acquired Australian-standard qualifications in construction, hospitality, carpentry, commercial cookery, community services, individual support, tourism, International Skills Training (IST), and leadership and management.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Cathedral Canon Desmond Probets Hall in Honiara, where the graduates' families and friends gathered to witness their accomplishments.

The Australian Government, through the APTC, supported the training of the 74 graduates, enabling them to gain skills that will contribute meaningfully to the workforce and the national economy.

The graduating cohort included 18 women who successfully completed Certificate II in Construction, supported by APTC and the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP). Additionally, 12 students completed Certificate III in Community Services, a program supported by ChildFund New Zealand and the Honiara City Council in collaboration with APTC.

APTC, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Association of Vocational Rural Centres (SIAVRTC), also supported 15 trainers from national training providers to complete the IST program, aimed at enhancing teaching standards.

Keynote speaker, Aaron Pitaqae, the Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children, and Family Affairs, congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to use their skills and knowledge to boost workplace productivity and national prosperity.

“All of you who are graduating today serve as role models. I encourage you to translate your achievements into inspiration for other men and women, especially our young people, to pursue further training and studies,” Mr Pitaqae said.

He also commended the 51 women, with a special mention to the 19 women who completed infrastructure qualifications. These graduates are breaking barriers in non-traditional trades within the Solomon Islands – a significant milestone for gender equity.

Tamra Waletofea, a graduate and a construction business owner, emphasised the role of the skills and knowledge she had acquired from APTC to succeed as an entrepreneur in the construction industry.

“Construction may not be typical for women, but it’s my passion. I prove daily that gender is a strength, not a barrier. Every challenge fuels my determination. This job isn’t just about skills—it’s about teamwork and resilience. I believe that together, we can build a future where gender equality leads to progress,” Ms Waletofea said.

The Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, H.E. Rod Hilton, highlighted the successful collaboration between Australia and the Solomon Islands, which has resulted in a diverse range of skills and expertise among the graduates, which they can utilise to contribute to the workforce and their communities.

“The graduates have been equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to make significant contributions to their workplaces and communities. I applaud the APTC for its unwavering commitment to education and empowerment, which is in line with the shared vision of the governments of Solomon Islands and Australia to enhance Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Solomon Islanders.”

The new graduates join more than 20,000 alumni, including 2,566 Solomon Islanders trained by the APTC 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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