Over 100 recent graduates in Samoa rejoiced as they attained Australian-standard certifications in technical and vocational courses via the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). Notably, the tally of women graduates saw an upsurge, with over 60 women and three individuals with disabilities being part of the graduation ceremony in Apia on September 28, 2023.
At the recent graduation ceremony in Samoa, the Minister for Education and Culture, Afioga Seuula Ioane Tuaau, extended his heartfelt congratulations to the new graduates. He expressed his gratitude to their families, employers, and educators for their constant encouragement throughout their educational pursuits.
Furthermore, he gave special recognition to the women graduates for their commendable accomplishments.
“It’s remarkable to see the surge in the number of female graduates at today’s APTC graduation compared to the previous one. Over 60 women have triumphantly concluded their technical and vocational courses, with 15 of them specializing in construction and plumbing,” he remarked.
The Acting Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Ms Claire McGeechan, emphasized the role of APTC in delivering programs designed to enhance the capabilities of professionals in both the public and private domains, especially where there are capacity shortcomings.
“TVET, as outlined in the Samoa Education Sector Plan 2019-2024, is instrumental in boosting productivity and curbing unemployment, especially among the youth and those fresh out of school,” she remarked.
Furthermore, she underscored APTC’s dedication to aiding the Samoan Government in fortifying their resilience against the ramifications of climate change and natural calamities, specifically by advancing Samoa’s infrastructure. She also stressed the significance of addressing exclusion in professional settings.
“Programs dedicated to promoting gender equality, women’s empowerment, and social inclusion are crucial for addressing existing barriers and all forms of discrimination in professional and community settings,” commented Ms. McGeechan.
Having had minimal exposure to the world of construction just a year ago, Elizabeth Neemia Ah Poe, a recent graduate, now feels a renewed sense of empowerment after finishing her Construction course.
“Through the Work, Health, and Safety brief course in our region, I was introduced to foundational construction principles as a delegate from our church women’s group. This education has bolstered my confidence as a woman, prompting me to seek and apply for roles like site manager, carpenter, or construction supervisor,” expressed Ms. Ah Poe.
Newly graduated students received certifications in areas like Carpentry, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Plumbing, Construction, Tourism, Hospitality, Commercial Cookery, Community Services, Individual Support, Leadership and Management, Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways, and International Skills (IST) Training Trainer and Assessor programs.
Included in this graduation group were representatives from significant government entities such as the Samoa Water Authority, Samoa Electric Power Corporation, Samoa Fire Emergency Services Authority, and the Samoa Police, Prisons, and Corrections Services. They completed courses in Leadership and Management, Community Services, IST, and Plumbing.
Since 2007, through the APTC, Australia has backed the education of more than 19,000 individuals in the region, of whom over 2,200 have been Samoan.