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Pacific graduates recently danced the night away at a colourful celebration of success. Fifty-four Careerforce Pacific learners were filled with pride as they graduated with their NZQA recognised qualifications at Manukau’s MIT Theatre.

Graduates from the Northern region had completed a range of Health and Wellbeing programmes from Level 2 certificates to Level 5 diplomas, some graduating with multiple qualifications.

The ‘Pacific Celebration of Success’ was designed to recognise these graduate achievements, amongst proud family members, employers and work colleagues.

Careerforce Pacific Lead, Laloifi Ripley, says, “The atmosphere in the auditorium was electric.

“This is something I have visualised for a while, and it was great to see it come to life. For a lot of our Pacific people, they work in these roles to support their families, to put food on the table and to provide. Often the thought of gaining a qualification never crosses their mind.

Graduates at Careerforce’s Pacific Celebration of Success (with Careerforce staff). Photo: Bob Freeman

Graduates felt proud and worthy with an appetite for more learning

“To be given an opportunity to undertake training, while still earning and to be supported by their employer gives them hope. Providing a space for them to then celebrate their success with their loved ones makes them proud, feel worthy and gives them an appetite for more learning and more success.”

One of the recommendations in Careerforce’s Ala Moni Pacific Strategy was to create a culture of motivation. According to Laloifi, the purpose of the event was for Careerforce to show its understanding around what motivates Pacific people in work-based training and to develop positive future-focused goals.

“It’s important to our Pacific people that we celebrate success and share this with their families and their communities,” says Laloifi.

Guest speaker at the graduation, Eloni Taulafo, became a NEET & Youth Housing Team Lead at QES (Quality Education Services) after completing his studies 2 years ago.

Studying gave Eloni the confidence and opportunity to grow and take on a leadership role

“When you work with vulnerable people,” says Eloni, “you need to get it right the first time because there isn’t always a second chance.

“Completing my qualification enhanced my skills, my professionalism and has given me the confidence and opportunity to grow and take on this leadership role.”

Other graduates Delia Ioane and Maineiti Anguna also shared their journey and talked about how it has since led them into further studies.

Laloifi says, “It was pleasing to hear that since graduating, often with their first formal qualification, many of the graduates have pathway’d into further study, gained promotions or moved into leadership roles.

“We aim to make it an annual event where more people from across Aotearoa can attend.”

Careerforce Executive Director Rod Bentham attended the event, and says, “It was a privilege to share in their success, and to hear their first-hand stories of the often life-changing differences that their training journeys with Careerforce had led to. They are an inspiration to their whānau and to their colleagues, and a testament to the support of their employers.”

Careerforce is a work-based training provider for the health and wellbeing sectors. Training occurs in the workplace and is aligned to workplace practice. Careerforce is a business division of Te Pūkenga.

More information

For more information about the full range of Careerforce programmes and the support for Pacific learners, contact Careerforce