APTC holds graduation in the Solomon Islands
A total of 185 students in the Solomon Islands are the latest cohort of graduates to have successfully completed their specialised technical and vocational programs from the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC).
The graduation ceremony was held at Pacific Paradise in Honiara on 12 May 2015.
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver training and to increase the supply of skilled workers in targeted sectors in the Pacific region. APTC has campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
The event recognised the achievements of students who completed programs in Automotive, Construction, Carpentry, Early Childhood Education, Electro-technology, Diesel Fitting, Formwork, Home and Community Aged Care, Hospitality, Light Vehicle Mechanical, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Wall and Floor Tiling, Training and Assessment and Youth Work.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Honourable Manasseh Sogavare said he was delighted to share the joy and excitement of students who had accomplished and successfully completed an arduous educational journey.
He said that the graduating class of today (12 May) and students, who are currently enrolled with APTC, will contribute towards the steady increase in the number of Solomon Islands students appropriately trained and graduating from APTC over the coming years.
“From the Government’s point of view, this is a positive and welcome development which is much appreciated by the people of this country. As everyone is aware, education remains a high priority of the Solomon Islands Government, but often the needs exceed the Government’s real ability to meet that commitment. So a helping hand by APTC in appropriately skilling and graduating more Solomon Islanders is especially pleasing and noteworthy,” he added.
While explaining that the intention behind the establishment of APTC is to address the shortage of suitably qualified industry and trades men and women within the Pacific Islands region, the Prime Minister said that the option to further these training opportunities and potentially future employment beyond the island countries should also be seriously considered and explored.
“With such a competitive program based on Australian TVET certified standards, I wonder if it is also possible for arrangements to be in place for APTC graduates from Solomon Islands and indeed other Pacific countries to find apprenticeship and work placements in Australia and possibly New Zealand as well. This will no doubt add further value to their knowledge and skills based training in an otherwise more advanced social and economic environment,” he further said.
The Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Andrew Byrne joined the Prime Minister in congratulating the students on attaining internationally recognised qualifications. He encouraged them to stay motivated, work hard, and use the skills they have learned to contribute to economic growth in Solomon Islands.
APTC Chief Executive Officer, Denise O’Brien and the Country Manager for APTC Solomon Islands, Mark Robertson hosted family, friends, staff and alumni of APTC to celebrate the event.
Mark said that APTC plays an important role as a centre of excellence aimed at skilling and qualifying Pacific Island citizens for a range of vocational occupations in demand across the Pacific.
He wished the graduates well in their future endeavours and advised them to use the knowledge and skills gained at APTC to serve their families, communities, and their countries.
Amongst the graduating class, were students who for the first time completed the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) program in the Solomon Islands.
This year marks the second year of operation in Honiara for APTC’s Solomon Islands campus, since launching its inaugural year of delivery at the Don Bosco Technical Institute. To date, over 790 Solomon Island students have graduated from APTC.