24 March 2015
More than one hundred students of Australia-Pacific Technical College graduated today at the EFKS Youth Hall on the Mulinuu peninsula.
Qualifications were gained in specialised technical and vocational programs including Allied Health Assistance/Health Services, Carpentry, Children’s Services, Commercial Cookery, Disability, Fabrication, Hospitality, Nutrition, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Construction, Tourism and Youth Work.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi gave the keynote address for the graduation, and said that “of the 1846 students who have trained and completed their education at APTC since 2007, 840 of them are Samoan citizens.”
“This is a huge milestone not only for Samoa but for our Pacific Islands men and women who are educated and have the opportunity to gain Australian standards, skills and qualifications, giving them a very wide benefit of education and careers in the Pacific,” added the Prime Minister.
Tuilaepa made special mention of the two women who received the Certificate III in Carpentry, saying “I congratulate you for taking a leap in to a trade usually reserved for males.”
APTC is a development initiative funded by the Australian Government, tasked with upskilling workers for targeted sectors in Samoa and the region.
“This complements the Samoa Government’s vision of ensuring that its people have opportunities for training which will inevitably ensure growth of our country,” said the Prime Minister.
- For the first time in the Pacific, students have graduated in Certificate III in Nutrition. All 10 students are from Samoa and the program is supported by the Ministry of Health, National Health Services, ADRA, Special Olympics and the Australian Government.
- 16 graduates completed Certificate III in Disability that was delivered on a part time basis to special needs teachers for children with disabilities in primary schools throughout Samoa.
- 13 graduates in Certificate III in Carpentry were previously graduates of the Certificate II in Construction from villages in the south west of Samoa that were devastated by Cyclone Evan.
As part of their training, students helped build more than 200 fales in the villages from additional funding made available by the Australian Government. The students underwent a further 15 weeks of training in Fiji to achieve the tradesperson’s qualification of Certificate III in Carpentry. Two of these graduates are women.
- Training for graduates in Certificate III in Hospitality (Lodge) was provided through a joint collaboration between APTC and the Samoa Tourism Authority.
- Training was also delivered to food vendors and stall-holders in Food Hygiene and Preparation as well as other short courses to targeted sectors of the tourism industry in preparation for the Small Island Development States (SIDS) Conference and the Teuila festival.
- A total of 399 Samoans received training from APTC as part of the Tourism Cyclone Recovery program that was funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.
- According to a recent APTC survey, the employment rate of Samoan graduates from APTC was 97 per cent.