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Seventeen i-Kiribati students graduated in eight different technical and vocational programmes from the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in a graduation ceremony held at the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) on Wednesday.
The graduates received their qualifications in fields including Air-conditioning & Refrigeration, Carpentry, Commercial Cookery, Diesel Fitting, Fitting & Machining, Hospitality, Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, Plumbing, as well as awards in the Key Management Skill Set.
As Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program, APTC has trained over 13,000 Pacific women and men, including more than 480 Kiribati citizens, since its commencement in 2007.
In his keynote address to graduands, Kiribati’s Minister for Labour and Human Resource Development, Ioteba Redfern, congratulated them on obtaining their Australian standard qualifications and awards.
He added that graduates are now positioned to contribute to the Kiribati workforce as well as being well placed internationally with recognised qualifications to be put into practice abroad in line with their national policies.
Redfern restated that education is a key priority for the Government of Kiribati. This is reflected in its Development Plan 2016-2019 with a vision for a more qualified and skilled population to achieve sustainable economic growth.
“You now have a formal qualification that opens up endless employment possibilities locally and internationally. This is all possible because you value the importance of education and how it can have a positive impact in your career,” he said.
The Minister commended the efforts of the Australian Government and APTC for supporting the innovative Pacific Skills Partnership.
He also spoke highly of the four women, including the recipient of the Certificate III in Plumbing, and strongly encouraged them to inspire other women to pursue further training and studies.
Australian High Commissioner to Kiribati, Bruce Cowled, congratulated the graduates for reaching a milestone achievement. Cowled also acknowledged the four women graduates and commended the cohort for their efforts in pursuing further studies.
He assured that the Australian Government and APTC will continue to engage with the Government of Kiribati to advocate and support national efforts on gender equality.
The High Commissioner further added that APTC will work with stakeholders in Kiribati to match training and employer needs for jobs now and in the future as well as self-employment opportunities.
Now in its third stage, APTC will continue supporting Pacific countries like Kiribati in their efforts to step up the skills agenda for sustainable jobs, growth and development that leaves no one behind.
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