Ngaahi fakamatala 'eni 'e tokoni ki he kau ngoue fekau'aki mo hono malu'i koia ho'o ngoue Temata mei he mahaki moe Inisekite maumau
Over 30 Tongan nationals proudly received their certificates in 12 different programs during the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) graduation ceremony in Nuku'alofa on 20 September, 2017.
The new graduates join more than 400 APTC Tongan alumni, of which over 220 are women.
In his keynote address, Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency, Mr Andrew Ford congratulated the new graduates on their achievements.
“You are now a recipient of an internationally-recognised qualification. This means that you have the ability to shape your future with new and innovative ideas and make a difference in your own spheres of influence. I encourage you to share your new skills and knowledge to serve your employers, families, communities and your country,” he said.
“I am pleased that APTC offers skills and training that is aligned to labour market demand to allow Tongan nationals and other Pacific Islanders to gain Australian skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers. It is supporting greater opportunities for productive employment and self-employment for Pacific people in national and international labour markets and improving economic growth.”
H.E. Mr Ford also congratulated APTC on achieving the milestone of successfully providing technical and vocational education and training across the Pacific for the last 10 years.
Since it was established in 2007, APTC has provided internationally recognised Australian skills and qualifications to more than 11,000 Pacific women and men from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries.
“The Australian Government is proud to support the Australia-Pacific Technical College and the work it has done over the last decade in upskilling Pacific Island citizens. The excellent track record of these APTC graduates in employment and communities, especially here in Tonga, speaks well of APTC’s remarkable progress over the past 10 years,” he said.
H.E. Mr Ford also made special mention of the women graduates, adding, the skills and training provided by APTC to women is in line with the Australian Government’s development priority of creating equal opportunities for women.
Tongan alumni from 2008 to 2017 held a special procession at the start of the ceremony to commemorate APTC’s 10-year anniversary.
APTC’s 10-year anniversary was launched earlier this month by the Samoan Prime Minister, Honourable Afioga Fatialofa Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi at the APTC Samoa graduation.
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A significant part of the work Chamber does is strengthening the development of businesses in the private sector, by capacity building in the form of training, as well as offering Business Advisory Services. We were very fortunate to obtain the services of a business expert (Dr Beatrice Duffield), engaged via Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) to offer Business Advisory support to businesses in Tonga from 01st June – 05th August 2017 – FREE of charge!
In the time Dr Duffield was here, she was able to meet and assist 14 businesses across 9 Sectors (Retail, Agriculture, Services, Manufacturing, Rental, Construction, Tourism, Hospitality, and Information Technology).
Outputs identified as a result of the support Dr Duffield offered these businesses included Increased productivity, Increased Sales/Profits, Cost Savings, Increased Staff Morale, Organizational improvements, Business or Strategic Plans, and Improved Accounting Procedures to name a few.
TCCI recently provided work experience training for Tonga's future generation of business owners and skilled employees. Two second year students from the Tupou Tertiary Institure (TTI) and one student who has completed her TTI Studies spent their mid-year vacation working with TCCI Staff experiencing what it's like in workplace.
The three girls, Sesimani Fisi'iahi from Niutoua, Uikelotu Molia from 'Anana and Luseane Talalima from Ma'ufanga learnt many new skills including data entry, reception skills, communications and client service as well as putting their TTI learnings into practice.
Sesimani and Luseane are Information Technology students and Uikelotu is undertaking her Diploma in Business.
Program Manager Lakai Fonua said that it was a pleasure having the girls at TCCI.
"The staff and the girls got on well and we were grateful to have the opportunity to show young people what it's like to work in a business environment. The girls were very busy and helped a great deal."
The girls said they gained a lot from the experience. not only did they develop new skills but also became more familiar with how to interact with work colleagues in a business environment.
They enjoyed the workplace camaraderie as shown in the photo - Uikelotu, Sesimani and Luseane with Lakai Fonua, Program Manager.
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TCCI’s Business Clinic recently ran a successful Website Development workshop for small businesses facilitated by New Zealand Business Adviser Steffen Gnatzy. Mr Gnatzy showed participants how to develop a professional website using Weebly, a drag-and-drop website builder.
Mr Gnatzy said, “Using Weebly, small business can develop their own website for free and make any changes themselves rather than being restricted to more expensive custom build websites.”
“A clear, simple and easy to use website is very important for all small businesses as it is often the first link a business has with their customer.” he added.
Feedback from a satisfied participant said: “Feeling extremely lucky to have had this initial opportunity to learn how to best go about designing a website for our business – great course/workshop!
Thank you TCCI!”
Participants attend a workshop session where they start designing their own websites and then Mr Gnatzy works alongside each business to help them get their own website up and running.
Mrs. Kioa was very impressed with the interest shown by the Delegation at the presentation by Nishi Industries.
"The Delegation members included members of parliament from Australia's farming community" said Mrs. Kioa.
"They were very interested in the farming skills training implemented by Nishi Industries which TBEC had contributed to. They also suggested ways in which Australia could work with Nishi to develop Tongan Agriculture on a more sustainable basis."
Mrs. Kioa added that Nishi Industries thanked the Australian Government for the support given to Tongan Agriculture and mentioned a major area of further support needed was in farmer training particularly "Train the Trainers" programs.