TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Marie Larkings, is urging school leavers to take advantage of fee-free training to equip them with the skills they need to secure jobs with local employers who are crying out for qualified employees.
The NSW Business Chamber 2019 Workforce Skills Survey has reported that 61.8 per cent of businesses with skills shortages are unable to recruit suitable staff and that they are carrying more job vacancies in 2019 compared to 2017.
Across the Hunter region, the early childhood, nursing and community services industries are just some of the industries experiencing ongoing skills shortages.
Marie Larkings said that through TAFE NSW, students are given the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills necessary and wanted by employers.
“TAFE NSW works closely with industry to ensure that we’re delivering a pipeline of skilled employees who are equipped with the practical skills and work experience that employers are looking for,” she said.
“Considering the range of fee-free training opportunities available, such as the NSW Government Smart and Skilled and Fee-free apprenticeships initiatives, there has never been a better time for school leavers to pursue a career in industries with employment and career progression opportunities.”
The Joyce review of vocational education noted this year that stakeholders were concerned that students who would otherwise thrive in VET careers are being directed towards higher education options where they may not succeed.
“While university may be a viable option for some school leavers, it’s important that vocational education and training is considered a Plan A for school leavers to pursue careers in areas that they are passionate about,” she said.
TAFE NSW student, Tayla Pearce, said when she completed her HSC in 2016 she started studying at university before deciding that it wasn’t for her.
“Studying a Diploma of Early Childhood Education at TAFE has given me the knowledge to work in the industry but also the hands-on skills to be ready to work, and it’s all happened so quickly. It’s only taken me 18 months and I have a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and a full-time job in my chosen career!,” Tayla said.
“I undertook my practical work experience at Mini Minors in Maitland while I was studying and now I have been employed in a full-time position there.”
Assistant Director of Mini Minors Maitland, Amanda Bruton said Tayla is a very motivated, positive and nurturing educator.
“Her studies and practical experience have meant she is able to build strong relationships with our children and their families,” Amanda said.
Marie Larkings has also taken the opportunity to reassure school leavers that, regardless of their ATAR, there are a range of degrees and pathways to higher education available at TAFE NSW.
IMAGE | Students offered fee-free training through TAFE NSW
LIGHTBOX | TAFE NSW
TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training and education provider with more than 500,000 enrolments and 1,200 courses. As an education innovator, we’re focused on shaping the future through state-of-the-art facilities, systems, technology and teachers. Our graduates are equipped for the jobs of today and the careers of the future.
TAFE NSW offers the best of campus-based delivery as well as flexible, online and work-based learning. Collaboration, diversity and the strong relationships between our locations contribute to and magnify the value of TAFE NSW and importantly, the benefits that we deliver to communities and the economy of NSW.