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Molina blazes the trail as first female trainer for hospitality at APTC Solomons

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Molina Kwato’o, APTC’s trainer for Certificate II in Hospitality in the Solomon Islands.
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Molina Kwato’o has made her community proud by becoming the first woman to hold the position of national trainer for the Certificate II in Hospitality program at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) Solomon Islands Campus.

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Molina’s achievement is a step forward in promoting the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Solomon Islands and the Pacific.

Molina is from Malaita and Choiseul province in the Solomon Islands.

Unlike most of her peers, Molina did not have the means to acquire formal qualifications at a university. This, however, did not deter her. Instead, she progressed her education through TVET.

After leaving high school in year 11, Molina enrolled in the Airahu Rural Training Centre in Malaita province and never looked back. Her perseverance was also a testament to her dedication to acquiring practical skills and qualifications.

She shared that although some of her peers were initially sceptical, this decision was a defining moment in her life.

“At first, my friends teased me for choosing the TVET path. However, I stayed committed, knowing a qualification would be my foundation to achieving full-time employment,” she said.

Molina’s dedication was rewarded when she furthered her hospitality studies by completing the Certificate III in Hospitality at APTC in 2012. The program equipped her with industry-standard hospitality skills, opening doors to new career opportunities in the hospitality industry in Honiara.

Molina later transitioned to work in the education sector in 2016 after securing a job as a training assistant with APTC.

With hard work and after completing the Training and Assessment (TAE) course, she was promoted to tutor in 2017, a position that she believed set her off on the path to career success.

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“Having gained valuable experience in the industry, I saw a great opportunity to contribute to the development of the next generation of hospitality professionals,” Molina said.

“There were few local trainers at APTC, and I felt I could bridge that gap. So, I started as a training assistant, supporting trainers and gaining valuable insight into the education side. This experience, combined with the TAE course, equipped me with the skills to become a tutor myself,” she added.

In 2021, Molina achieved another milestone when she was promoted to a trainer for Certificate II in Hospitality.

Reflecting on her journey, she feels proud of her personal and professional growth and her valuable contribution to developing the skills in demand in the hospitality sector in Solomon Islands.

“I’m proud to empower the next generation. My journey, supported by APTC, is a testament to the power of opportunity. It shows women and young girls that we can carve paths in any field with dedication and passion.”

APTC is the Australian Government’s largest TVET investment in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, working closely with local industries and national training providers to ensure the training provided to students meets domestic and international needs.

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