Australia’s support through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) has trained the latest cohort of 203 Papua New Guinea (PNG) nationals in various technical and vocational programs, contributing to the country’s skilled and productive workforce.
The achievements of the new graduates was celebrated in a virtual ceremony. The graduation video was made available on APTC’s Facebook and YouTube channels this week.
The graduates comprised 47 women and 156 men who attained qualifications in the areas of Construction, Engineering, Tourism and Hospitality, Commercial Cookery, Aged Care, Training and Assessment, and International Skills Training.
Since it began operation in 2007, APTC has trained more than 3600 PNG nationals, of whom, over 1000 are women.
In delivering his keynote address, Dr Francis Hualupmomi, Acting Secretary for the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST), congratulated the graduates and thanked them for completing their training despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He shared that as the government agency responsible for managing higher and technical education, and research and technology in PNG, DHERST works with partners like Australia and APTC to strengthen PNG’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector to advance skills, knowledge and innovation required for Papua New Guinea’s economic development.
Dr Hualupmomi encouraged the graduates to use their qualification and newfound skills to influence positive change in their workplaces and communities.
The graduating class included seven trainers from the Bougainville Technical College who completed the International Skills Training under the PNG Skills for Sub-National Growth Investment (SNGI).
The SNGI expands the reach of APTC beyond Port Moresby to build capacity and quality of training by partnering with Higher Education Institutions and the DHERST. Partner institutions include Mt Hagen Technical College, Highlands Agriculture College and Bougainville Technical College.
The Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Jon Philp congratulated the graduates, and said that their new skills and qualifications match the demands of businesses across PNG.
“This ensures graduates can get into good jobs that will benefit them, develop their careers and also benefit their families and communities,” he said.
The APTC is Australia’s flagship TVET investment in the Pacific and Timor-Leste. Over 17,000 people have graduated from APTC.