Ninety-six i-Kiribati nationals were awarded Australian qualifications from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in a graduation ceremony in Betio on 17 March 2021.
As Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program, APTC has trained over 16,000 Pacific women and men, including more than 600 i-Kiribati nationals, since its commencement in 2007.
Convened at the Kiribati Institute of Technology Maneaba, the graduation was attended by government representatives, national training providers, graduates and their families. Graduates received certificates in 13 different qualifications at the socially-distanced face-to-face ceremony.
The ceremony celebrated the fulfilment of the students’ goals and marked the beginning of a new future for graduates, of whom, 56 were females.
The Minister for Employment and Human Resource Development, Honourable Taabeta Teakai, congratulated the graduating students on their achievements and hard work in attaining an Australian qualification, which will begin a new chapter in their career pathways.
She said, “I am proud to hear two females in this cohort are graduating in Carpentry and Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology courses. Gaining valuable skills and knowledge in trade areas that men have traditionally filled is a beautiful inspiration for our young girls and women.”
“To the graduating students, you all are role models of TVET in careers that will drive our country and the region's economic progress. I am particularly encouraged by the qualifications awarded today, given their close alignment with our Government's priorities for economic development.”
She also commended APTC and the Australian Government for providing critical training that complements the Government of Kiribati’s goal of strengthening the quality of TVET providers to meet regional and international standards.
The Australian High Commissioner to Kiribati, His Excellency Bruce Cowled, said the students’ achievement marks a stepping stone to embark on contributing to a more skilled, inclusive, and productive workforce for the country and the region.
As part of enhancing Pacific prosperity, H.E. Cowled said the Australian Government will continue working with both the APTC and the Kiribati Facility to improve skills training for more capable and qualified i-Kiribati to ensure training meets employer needs for jobs, now and in future.
Qualifications awarded at the ceremony were Business, Community Services, Construction, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Education Support, Fabrication Trade, Hospitality, Individual Support, Plumbing, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, and Wall and Floor Tiling.
Photo: Kiribati Institute of Technology