Australia is a proud supporter of skills strengthening and economic growth in Solomon Islands. Through its existing partnerships with the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) and the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET), Solomon Islanders are able to acquire further knowledge, experience and skills in selected technical and vocational institutions and gain employment in Australia under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) Scheme.
Australia, through the APTC, and MFAET recently came together to celebrate the completion of the first-ever student cohort of the Working in Aged Care Preparation Skill Set training program.
Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, HE Rod Hilton said: “The program will empower individuals with the necessary skills, knowledge, and qualifications to succeed. It also allows the opportunity to connect with Australian aged care employers and training organisations, enabling successful students to take advantage of training and work engagements in Australia.”
Twenty-four (24) students received their Statement of Attainment, marking a significant milestone in the partnership between the governments of Solomon Islands and Australia through APTC.
The Working in Aged Care Preparation Skill Set provided students in Honiara with introductory accredited training that will contribute to formal qualifications needed to work in the Australian aged care sector. This achievement is linked to the two governments’ ongoing commitment to skills training, employment and economic development through the PALM scheme.
APTC’s Executive Director, Nicki Baird said APTC is dedicated to training and empowering Solomon Islanders with much needed skills and knowledge to increase the pool of qualified aged care workers locally and abroad.
“We are delighted to celebrate this momentous occasion with our first group of completions of the Working in Aged Care Preparation Skill Set in the Solomon Islands. This milestone marks the beginning of a bright future for these individuals as they prepare to embark on a further training journey with Australian training providers and employers towards fulfilling careers in the aged care sector,” Ms Baird said.
Trade Commissioner Barett Salato, representing the MFAET, shared his thoughts on the importance of the training. “This collaboration with APTC signifies the strong commitment of the Solomon Islands Government to support the professional development of its citizens and meet the labour market needs of other countries, such as Australia. The demand within the aged care sector is rapidly growing, and our graduates are now well-equipped to contribute to this field,” Mr Salato added.
The Working in Aged Care Preparation Skill Set is designed to build the foundations for work in an aged care environment by instilling the necessary skills, knowledge, and competencies required to excel in future training and employment.
The successful collaboration between APTC and MFAET highlighted the ongoing commitment to strengthening education and workforce development in the Solomon Islands, with a focus on the domestic labour market and international employment opportunities.
The certificate presentation ceremony signified the beginning of a promising future for the certificate recipients as they prepared to embark on possible future training and employment journeys in the aged care sector in 2024.
APTC and the MFAET remain committed to continuing their efforts to provide educational and vocational opportunities that benefit the graduates and the workforce, both in the Solomon Islands and in Australia.
All students for this training program are identified by the MFAET from the government’s labour mobility-linked work ready pool. To date, APTC has trained over 1,260 Solomon Islanders from the work ready pool in preparation for mobilisation to Australia under the PALM Scheme.