by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
When talking about sewing, textiles and garments, many people have the misconception that this is an area for women alone.
However, today, during the 27th Textile and Garment training graduation held in the nation’s capital, it was a different story for three aspiring young men.
They were among twenty eight women who took part in the six month textile and garment training at the Women’s Textile Training Centre.
Two of the three men graduated today with certificates that will ultimately help them seek further employment.
Each of them had different stories to tell about their interest in taking up this course.
For 18-year-old Andrew Onawa from Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, he saw this opportunity to earn an income towards furthering his education.
Andrew completed year 12 in 2014, but like many high school leavers he did not obtain an offer at a tertiary institution or college.
However this has not discouraged him, he did not lose hope and has utilized every opportunity that has come his way.
Today that determination has allowed Andrew to obtain a Certificate I from the textile and garment training program.
He stepped on the podium proud of his achievement, he believes this will help his employment prospects and may one day help him establish his own tailoring business.
For 31 year old, Ernest Seth, from Milne Bay Province, today marks another milestone for him.
Like Andrew, Ernest hasn’t stopped dreaming about achieving his goals, he has already worked with a number of companies but his overall aim is to start up his own textile business.
Andrew already has a certificate in printing and graphic design from Port Moresby Technical School which he obtained in 2013-14.
Ernest graduated with Certificate II and says his dream of owning his own textile business will be realized when he has saved up enough money to commence operations.
Both men find this program to be a good opportunity for women, and men, in that it allows people to expand their skills in order to obtain employment or start their own business.
Today’s achievement for the male certificate holders is a testament to how barriers are being broken in business and equality.
On the whole courses like this boost small to medium enterprises and in particular encourage the development of the textile and garment industry.