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Learning the skills for life

FROM the mountains of Tasmania’s west coast to TasTAFE’s construction workshops, this year has been a time of change for Brendan Sargent.

Brendan, aged 31, was a geologist and spent the last few years driving in and out of the west coast for work.

This was until he started looking for something different and began a Certificate II in Construction at TasTAFE’s Clarence Campus.

“I got tired of working long shifts away from home all the time,” Mr Sargent said.

“I wanted something that offered family friendly hours, a better work-life balance and more flexibility in work locations.

“I’ve always enjoyed hands-on work that involves skill and thinking, and the construction industry appealed to me.

“I wanted to diversify my skillset and make myself more employable so that I could work anywhere, not just in mining regions.

“So, I decided to go to TasTAFE and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Mr Sargent said you came out of TasTAFE with skills that could be used anywhere, even around the house.

“And everything you are taught is applied and relevant to your chosen industry,” he said.

“It sets you up to be job-ready and that’s one of the main differences I found between TAFE and university.”

Certificate II qualifications are a great first step for people looking to apply for an apprenticeship or for people looking for employment opportunities at the trade assistant level.

Research backs up Brendan’s view that vocational education and training is a great option.

A Skilling Australian report, named ‘Perceptions Are Not Reality: myths, realities and the critical role of vocational education and training in Australia’, found that vocationally trained graduates:

Have a higher employment rate than university undergraduates – more than 78 per cent of VET graduates are employed after training, compared to 69 per cent of Bachelor Degree graduates.

Earn wages comparable to, if not exceeding, university graduates – the median full-time income for a VET graduate is $56,000 compared to $54,000 for a university Bachelor’s Degree graduate.

The VET sector provides training courses for nine out of 10 occupations predicted to have the greatest growth over the next five years.

Tasmanians interested in studying at TasTAFE in 2019 can chat to teachers and find out more information about enrolment processes at TasTAFE’s Info Week from 26 to 30 November.

Visit www.tastafe.tas.edu.au/infoweek/ for details of Info Week sessions and to register.

As part of the week, TasTAFE will also be holding an Apprenticeship Information Evening at its Clarence Campus (located at 4a Bounty Street, Warrane) on Thursday 29 November from 6pm to 7.30pm.

For more information and to register, visit www.tastafe.tas.edu.au/apprenticeship-information-evening/

Caption: TasTAFE construction apprentice Brenden Sargent.