By JASON GIMA WURI
A TOTAL of 60 students graduated yesterday from the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) with trade skills that are in high demand in PNG and the South Pacific region.
The graduates completed their studies and were each awarded a certificate three with international recognition in areas like diesel fitting, fitting and machining, metal fabrication, carpentry, and automotive.
“The development of a strong base of trade skills is essential for the on-going development of any nation, and particularly for PNG,” AusAID spokesman Peter Baxter, who was visiting from Canberra for a range of meetings with the PNG Government, said.
Mr Baxter said with so many natural resources, a skilled workforce would use these resources to build future natural prosperity and increase living standards.
“It is great to see first hand, the relevance of the training programmes which APTC has to offer and the quality of graduates the programmes are producing,” he said.
Mr Baxter said that the key to APTC’s success was working with local industry partners to ensure the APTC was producing the type of graduates that industry needed, which in this case, included APTC working closely with Hastings Deering, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd, Ela Motors and the Port Moresby Technical College to deliver Australian-standard training to PNG tradesmen and women.
He said the graduates had been rewarded for their hard work and diligence but the greatest reward was not the certificate received but the options and opportunities that trade qualification would bring.
Ela Motors CEO and managing director David Purcell said the APTC was playing a crucial role in human resource development within Ela Motors.
“The partnership with the APTC is a big asset for our business here in PNG, and it’s a win-win for Ela Motors, PNG and PNG technicians in an increasingly complex automotive industry, that is why we will continue to support the APTC in any way we can,” Mr Purcell said.
Hastings Deering area manager Ray Ninnes said that with projects like LNG coming on line,
the demand for skilled trade people would be greater.
“The work that APTC is doing is clearly enhancing our efforts and those of other PNG companies who are training people through apprenticeships,” Mr Ninnes said.
The graduation ceremony followed a ceremony on Monday in Tabubil, Western province, culminating in the graduation of 36 APTC graduates in metal fabrication, heavy diesel fitting, electrical, and fitting and machining.