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Australia sponsors ‘green construction’ training for women

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Australia is sponsoring the first intake of 20 women in a new ‘green construction’ training program. The program is being delivered through two Australian Government initiatives, the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC), in partnership with the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).

The students are being supported by SIIP to participate in a six-month APTC Certificate II in Construction starting on 19 June, followed by a one-month SINU short course on home solar system design, installation, and maintenance. When they graduate, SIIP will assist them with job placements.

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The students and their proud family members were welcomed at a formal induction ceremony at the Heritage Park Hotel last week.

Western Province mother of two teenage daughters, Priscilla Fakai’a, is one of the participants.

“When I saw the course being advertised, I said to myself – this is just the course for me and so I applied and was very lucky to be selected. We should do away with the notion that women be confined to housework and child-bearing and minding and believe in ourselves that women are equally capable as men to work in the construction sector – if the men can do it, so can we,” said Mrs Fakai’a.

Australia’s ‘green construction’ initiative aims to help Solomon Islands fill construction skill shortages but will also enable more women to participate in infrastructure development.

Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Sally-Anne Vincent said, “the initiative responds to the need to widen the pool of qualified Solomon Islanders with construction training and experience. It is always good to provide support for a new generation of women to excel in the workforce, and this is possible through the Australian Government’s APTC and SIIP programs working together.

“I congratulate all candidates for putting up their hand for this challenge. You are trailblazers. We hope it’s the start of an exciting and rewarding journey ahead.

“Australia is committed to the inclusion of women in everything we do. This program honours that commitment, with our focus on local jobs, economic infrastructure and climate change. With our assistance for graduates to find jobs, the result will be a new generation of skilled workers entering the infrastructure workforce,” she added.

Australia’s APTC Country Director for Solomon Islands and Kiribati, Abigail Chang, said APTC is honoured to support training for the first all-female cohort to undertake an Australian Certificate II in Construction qualification in-country.

“APTC is committed to the delivery of quality TVET training either through ourselves or other skills training providers in Solomon Islands. It is exciting to deliver an internationally recognised qualification that will strengthen work, health and safety awareness and build skills for basic construction projects, including those involving working at heights.”

SIIP is a ten-year Australian Government initiative that aims to improve the quality and accessibility of infrastructure for broad-based, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth in Solomon Islands. 

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