Over 100 new graduates join skilled workforce

2013-11-08T00:00:00Z

In what is undoubtedly a major boost to addressing the region’s skills shortage, some 115 Solomon Islanders graduated from the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) last week at a special ceremony in capital Honiara. It was the largest APTC graduation ceremony held in the Solomon Islands.<!--more-->

Ranging from hospitality and tourism, cooking and hairdressing, disability services, construction, plumbing, automotive, refrigeration and air conditioning, Solomon Islanders graduated from courses in 16 fields. The new graduates join more than 500 Solomon Islanders who have already completed courses.

The APTC is an initiative of the Australian Government’s international aid agency AusAID and has campuses on several Pacific Island countries including Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

Speaking at the graduation, Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands Matt Anderson said, “Through the APTC and the Australian qualifications the students earned, they now have the skills, training and confidence to take advantage of job opportunities, either in Solomon Islands or in the region. I urge them to seize this opportunity and make full use of the skills gained through the APTC.”

“To take advantage of the AusAID-funded training at APTC campuses in Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu or Papua New Guinea - and the opportunity it now provides - students had to spend six months away from home and their beloved Solomon Islands,” Mr Anderson added.

Mr Anderson said he has seen first-hand the very real benefits of the training and newfound skills and the difference it is making to the lives and livelihood of thousands of Pacific Islanders.