The Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa has commended Australia-Pacific Technical College for making a valuable contribution to inculcating better skills in Fijians.
As 152 women and men graduated with Australian-standard qualification at the Japan-Pacific Multipurpose Theatre, University of the South Pacific Laucala Campus in Suva this afternoon, Vuniwaqa emphasised how important this was in alleviating poverty.
These graduates were awarded with the Australian-standard qualifications as they graduated from the different technical and vocational programs from the Institute.
“APTC makes a valuable contribution in up-skilling Fijians, especially women and those working with people with disabilities in alleviating poverty,” she said.
Vuniwaqa acknowledged APTC and the Australian Government for providing training to over 12,000 Pacific graduates including 3700 Fijians since 2007.
She said that the Fijian Government is working closely with APTC in creating an internationally competitive tertiary education system to meet Fiji’s future needs and to be competitive with those countries that have already undertaken significant reforms and investments.
“I am very pleased that Australia, through the APTC, has helped Fijians like you to be able to make the most of those opportunities. Opportunities create employment, employment creates productivity and productivity results in growth.”
She also applauded APTC for the accessibility to such educational opportunities especially to women, children and people living with disabilities, who also happen to be the key clientele of the Ministry.
“The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is very grateful for the Australian Government’s contribution towards shaping women’s development in Fiji through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program,” Minister Vuniwaqa said.
She also applauded the Australian Government for providing $300 million to Pacific Island Countries to tackle climate change through the Green Climate Fund.
Vuniwaqa highlighted that quality and performance of the higher education system in Fiji will be a key determinant of its economic and social progress and higher education will clearly be a major contributor to the development of a skilled workforce.
The graduates have received their training in a range of professions including non-traditional trades such as fabrication, fitting and machining, painting and decorating, and wall and floor tiling.