By Timothy Inifiri Jr.
The Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in Solomon Islands welcomed its newest 76 graduates yesterday at the Canon Desmond Probets Hall at the St.Barnabas in Honiara.
The graduates include a total of 36 females, were awarded qualifications in nine different vocational programs namely; Hospitality, Commercial Cookery, Tourism, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration, Carpentry, Light Vehicle Automotive, IndividualSupport, Leadership and Management and International Skills Training.
In his keynote address, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHRD) Mr. James Bosamata congratulated the graduates on their achievements and said that their qualifications can open new doors that leads to better employment opportunities in the country and abroad.
“I wish to congratulate the 36 women who are graduating this afternoon. We are very proud in observing more women breaking the barriers and taking up roles traditionally that were considered for males”, said Mr Bosamata.
Mr. Bosamata also commended the Australian Government for through APTC have partnered with a total of 10 rural centres across the Solomon Islands.
“This partnership is helping to strengthen the national TVET provision and is in line with the MEHRD’s development aspirations”.
The APTC TVET award was initiated in 2022 in consultation with the stakeholders to support students and training providers impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
“This of course is an initiative that will ensure eligible students are supported with tuition, accommodation and meals”, he added.
Mr Bosamata also emphasized that the APTC TVET award is supported by the national government as it will equip young people with appropriate skills for both the national and international labour markets.
Speaking on behalf of the 76 graduates, student rep, Celia Tioika, a graduating student in Certificate III in Hospitality said that gaining an Australian qualification that is recognized internationally is a huge milestone and is something all the graduates should be proud of, cherish and celebrate.
Australian Deputy High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincent highlighted that the APTC is Australia’s primary investment in TVET in the region.
“Australia is partnering with the Solomon Islands under the Solomon Islands’ Government leadership, to foster more jobs and economic growth and to enable Solomon Islanders to engage fully in every aspect of life”.
The Deputy High Commissioner also welcomed the graduates into a distinguished community, a strong alumni network of more than 18,000 graduates across the Pacific and in Australia.
Meanwhile, a total of 285 students, including 89 women have just recently received the 2023 TVET award scholarships which will be delivered by selected rural training centers across the country.