Australia is a key enabler of education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in the Solomon Islands, helping to strengthen and promote employment and economic development.
Australia, through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), collaborated with the Solomon Islands National Youth Congress (SINYC) to empower 153 young minds, including 78 women, from Auki, Gizo, Munda, Guadalcanal, and Honiara in a Virtual Youth Skills Hub Dialogue highlighting the transformative impact of TVET in unlocking employment prospects.
The virtual dialogue featured thought-provoking speakers from Afutara Adventist Technical Institute, Don Bosco Technical Institute, San Isidro Care Centre, Tabaka Rural Training Centre, the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and two inspiring female APTC alumni. The alumni shared personal stories of success by breaking barriers in non-traditional trades, inspiring the young individuals present.
The dialogue series highlights the critical role of TVET in shaping the future workforce and enhancing economic growth.
Australian High Commissioner, Rod Hilton, said “Australia is very pleased to empower Solomon Islands youths through information and knowledge sharing in the TVET sector. TVET plays an important role in youth-focused priorities and the importance of fostering a job-ready youth population for Solomon Islands sustainable economic growth.”
Harry James Olikwailafa, chairperson of SINYC, highlighted the transformative impact of TVET in cultivating self-sufficiency and meaningful societal contributions among the youth.
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Acknowledging the dialogue’s ongoing success, APTC’s Country Director for Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Abigail Chang, expressed gratitude to all the contributing organisations and participants. She stressed the significance of platforms such as the Virtual Youth Skills Hub Dialogue in linking youths with training avenues and unlocking the potential for inclusive development.
Christina Qwaina from Auki was excited to gain valuable insights from speakers about TVET opportunities and establish a network within TVET institutions in the Solomon Islands.
“The virtual dialogue is a crucial step for our youth to understand the value of TVET. By showcasing training opportunities and their community impact, the virtual dialogue inspired us to prioritise skills development. Youth in the provinces need these opportunities. I strongly believe that increased investment in TVET is essential for the benefit of young Solomon Islanders,” Christina emphasised.
The Virtual Youth Skills Hub stands as a beacon of collaboration, uniting the youth, skills training providers, and government stakeholders in the Solomon Islands. Its success reflects a collective effort to empower the nation’s youth, bridging the gap between skill acquisition, employment, and a promising future.
As Australia’s major TVET support program in the region, APTC works closely with local industries and national training providers partners in the Solomon Islands. This ensures that the training provided by both APTC and its 10 training partners in-country aligns with both domestic and international needs, preparing students for success in the dynamic job market.
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