The Australian Government supports strengthening Tuvalu’s workforce to be more skilled, inclusive and productive as 21 Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) students graduated on Tuesday, 7 November 2023.
The graduates received internationally recognised Australian qualifications across eight technical and vocational programs - Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Individual Support (Ageing, Home, and Community), Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration, Electrotechnology (Career Start), Sustainable Energy (Career Start), and Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways.
More than 90 Tuvaluan women and men also received certificates for completing the Aged Care Prep course, Counselling short course, and micro-credentials.
Hon. Ampelosa Tehulu, Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure, Environment, Labour, Meteorology and Disaster, commended the graduates for their dedication, determination and hard work in achieving this significant milestone.
“Your decision to pursue vocational training and education has expanded your knowledge and opened doors to new possibilities, broadened your perspectives, and equipped you with the necessary skills to make a positive impact in the world,” Hon. Tehulu said.
He added that the skills gained through APTC will be a boost to the workforce in Tuvalu and beyond.
In his closing remarks, the Australian High Commissioner to Tuvalu, Mr Brenton Garlick congratulated the new graduates on their accomplishments and encouraged them to apply their skills and knowledge to bring about positive change in their workplaces and communities.
Mr Garlick also made a special mention to the 13 women who graduated with full qualifications, along with many others who completed the short courses.
Two of the women, Joyce Siligama and Angela Tofulau, stood out for their achievements in non-traditional trades after completing Certificate III in Carpentry in Fiji last semester.
“They are now actively contributing to a construction project right here in Funafuti, working with Hall Contracting and Reeves. Their stories inspire us and underscore the importance of empowering women in male-dominated fields. This achievement is not just a reflection of their individual hard work, but also a testament to the importance of striving for equity in gender, ability and other disadvantaged groups in our societies,” Mr Garlick added.
John Filiki, who pursued Air-conditioning and Refrigeration in Fiji last year, was also recognised for his entrepreneurial endeavour. He is currently managing his family business, showcasing the transformative impact of education and its ability to unlock opportunities for individuals and communities.
Since its establishment in 2007, APTC has awarded Australian qualifications to over 19,000 Pacific Island citizens, including more than 200 Tuvaluans, in a range of vocational courses.