BACOLOD CITY — Thirty Negrenses completed the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) Program. This is a joint initiative of the Negros Occidental provincial government and the Northern Territory, Australia.
The graduates, who are pioneers of the program in the Philippines, received their certificates during the culminating activity held at the Capitol Social Hall here on 9 October 2018.
A total of 11 trainees, composed of deans, directors and heads of various colleges and academic institutions in Negros Occidental, completed the Training and Education (TAE) Assessors Skill Set modules. Three of them also obtained a Certificate II in Business course.
The other 19 graduates, who are all nurses, graduated with Certificate III in Individual Support.
Philippine Consul General of Northern Territory Januario Rivas, who spoke at the graduation rites, said the best way to form a linkage between Negros Occidental and Northern Territory is through people-to-people and region-to-region approach.
“It is actually returning back to the hometown, to the home province, and try out the opportunities that we could share with the Philippines,” said Rivas, a Negrense himself who grew up in Kabankalan City.
“We believe that education is wealth. There are jobs but might not be gratifying financially so that kind of training is meant to provide Negrenses or anyone else a pathway to Australia,” he added.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., who also witnessed the culminating activity, thanked the provincial government’s partners in implementing the program that produced “ambassadors of goodwill” of Negros Occidental to Australia.
“Despite the challenges, we are trying to cooperate and work in sustaining this program,” the governor said.
The Australian VET Program is part of the five-year partnership forged by Negros Occidental with the Department of Education of the Northern Territory Australia. Other partners are the GTNT and Australian Skills Institute and Angels Care Pty. Ltd.
The nurses’ training for Certificate III in Individual Support ran for three to five months while the educators completed the Certificate II in Business and TAE Assessors Skill Set training in at least 10 months.
After finishing the training, graduates of the Certificate III in Individual Support will get a certificate for healthcare in the Australian context.
Meanwhile, the TAE Assessors Skill Set graduates are now qualified assessors of Australia in the trade and skills of Filipinos or Negrenses.
The combination of face-to-face and online training were conducted at the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center in Bacolod. (Erwin Nicavera/PNA)