Over 100 students from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) graduated with Australian qualifications in 16 technical and vocational programs at a graduation ceremony in Suva last week.
Graduates received certificates in air conditioning and refrigeration, applied fashion design and technology, carpentry, commercial cookery, early childhood education, electro-technology electrician, diesel fitting, fitting and machining, hospitality, individual support, light vehicle mechanical technology, painting and decorating, tourism, wall and floor tiling, leadership and management, and counseling.
As Australia’s flagship Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET program), APTC has trained over 13,000 Pacific Islanders, including over 3800 Fijians.
Keynote speaker, Permanent Secretary for Education, Alison Burchell, congratulated the new graduates for successfully pursuing further studies, commending the 49 women graduates, who join a growing pool of over 5000 females trained by APTC around the region.
In a first for APTC, a group of 15 students graduated from its Diploma of Counseling program, delivered for the first time in Fiji. As part of this training, graduates learned about counseling theories and fundamentals, crisis counseling, mental health and counseling in family violence.
Ms Burchell also congratulated APTC on entering Phase 3. The new phase will have a stronger emphasis on strengthening Pacific TVET systems by working in coalition with governments, TVET providers, private sector, development partners and civil society, at national and regional levels.
Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, encouraged the graduates to become role models in society and share the skills they have learned to help make a difference in their workplace and communities, making special mention of the importance of the support of their families.
“A special thank you to your families who have been your greatest support and have most likely made incredible sacrifices. I commend and thank you all and I’m sure the graduates are eternally grateful for this.”
The graduation also included 13 Certificate III in Tourism graduates, who left Fiji to pursue their training in Vanuatu.