A total of 89 Australia-Pacific Technical College (A.P.T.C) graduates gathered to celebrate their achievements at the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority in Apia on Tuesday.
A.P.T.C is an innovative development initiative funded by the Australian Government to deliver Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific.
The keynote address was delivered by the caretaker Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.
Since its establishment, A.P.T.C has graduated more than 9500 students across the region. Of this number, 1280 graduates are Samoans.
Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Ricky Sale thanked A.P.T.C and the Australian Government for their vision and support in opening up opportunities for Samoans, as well as other Pacific islanders.
He also acknowledged the Samoan Government for establishing and maintaining this successful partnership with the Australian Government to provide opportunities for students to acquire Australian qualifications.
“The knowledge and skills you imparted to us will go a long way to bring a better future for Samoa, our communities, our families, our workplaces and in our services for God and the church,” he added.
Mr. Sale, who graduated with a Certificate III in Community Services, said that the graduates were appreciative of their employers for continuously supporting and encouraging them in completing their studies and upgrading their skills.
He congratulated his fellow graduates and reminded them that this marks the beginning of greater achievement and success in life.
Students graduated at this ceremony with qualifications in 10 different programs: Allied Health Assistance/Health Services, Early Childhood Education and Care, Commercial Cookery, Metal Fabrication, Hospitality, Tourism, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Carpentry, Electro technology Electrician, and Community Services Work. Of these 10 programs, four were delivered from A.P.T.C’s Samoa Campus.
The graduation marked the successful completion of Certificate III in Hospitality qualification by five employees of the Hospitality and Community Health Institute of Training (H.C.H.I.T), who were funded by the Samoa Qualifications Authority for the assessment of recognition of prior learning.
A.P.T.C Samoa campus continues to engage with the government and community-based organisations. It has also been building relationships with stakeholders such as the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and the Samoa Culinary Association to build enterprise and employment opportunities for Samoans. An example has been the participation of Commercial Cookery and Hospitality students in the Samoa Culinary Association’s inaugural Oka Festival last year.
Guests at the graduation included Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Susan Langford, New Zealand High Commissioner to Samoa, Jackie Frizelle, National University of Samoa (N.U.S) Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Le'apai Asofou So'o and Reverend Dean Max (Fellowship Bible Study - Vailoa).
Apart from Samoa, A.P.T.C training is delivered at campuses in Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.