By Matthew Pearce
Prospective students of all ages dropped into CQUniversity’s Canning St campus on Wednesday, 19 January for the annual TAFE Careers Expo.
Associate director, TAFE marketing Mark Stanley said while the annual event was timed to coincide with the larger student intake at the beginning of the year, courses were available all year round.
“What we really enjoy about this event is just having people come in and having a chat with us,” he said.
“Coming to study can be a barrier. People may not be overly confident but by coming along they can not only talk to people who work in teaching but also our student support staff as well.
“It’s all about what you’re interested in – what do you want to do, what are you going to enjoy? And then we try and marry up the course that’s going to help you achieve your goal.”
Courses on offer include Tafe diplomas, certificates (including apprenticeships and traineeships), short courses and micro-credentials.
The careers expo also featured campus tours and online information sessions via Zoom.
People from a variety of backgrounds attended the event, including school students and people looking for a career change.
“I was just talking to a young school student in Year 10 and they’re interested in doing our Start Tafe Now program where you can actually start doing your TAFE course while you’re at school. That could mean by the time you finish school, you’ve got a qualification,” Mr Stanley said.
“While we get a lot of school leavers, we also get business owners or people who want to start their own business.
“There’s also people who might have started a family and now they’re coming back to work, or people who may have had a successful career in one area but now they want to do something entirely different.
“I’ve had so many conversations with people in their 40s or 40s who say they want to get into horticulture. They’ve been working in other fields but now they really want to follow their passion.”
Peter Heilbuth, deputy vice-president VET – operations and growth, said there’d ‘almost never been a better time to get a TAFE qualification’, with plenty of government incentives on offer.
“Governments are supporting skills because they understand there’s a skills shortage in Australia,” he said.
“It’s a fabulous incentive for someone who is just leaving school or wanting to change careers.”
Mr Stanley said CQUniversity was all about finding the right course for each student, whether that’s a TAFE course, Bachelors Degree or Masters.
“Even if you’re not quite ready we have courses that can help you get your literacy and numeracy skills up. It’s all about starting that conversation and then you can pick the level that you want to start off at and progress with us from there.
“Call us 302 728 or drop into our campus and have a chat.”