The three-day 2011 Sydney Telstra 500 event at Homebush Bay from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 December provided a great hands-on motorsport event experience for over 70 TAFE NSW apprentices and students currently enrolled in automotive, hospitality, catering, event management, media and communications courses.
V8 Supercars Australia, with the support of TAFE NSW Training and Education Support and TAFE NSW Institute Managers recruited student volunteers to specific event roles including automotive, events managements, commercial cookery, media, marketing and hospitality students who were assigned to assist with all aspects of the event. Nine TAFE NSW staff members provided support and mentoring to the students throughout the event.
“This is another great example of TAFE NSW working with industry to provide our students with outstanding opportunities to participate in real-life, large-scale commercial events and to put into practice what they have learnt while studying at TAFE. In particular, this is due to the great relationship TAFE NSW has with V8 Supercars Australia,” said Brad Polak, one of the TAFE NSW staff members attending the event.
Students also found the event experience exceeded their expectations and are confident they are on the right path to be job-ready for their chosen careers.
“Over the last four years I’ve spent at TAFE, everything finally came together at this event. I could apply much that I’ve learnt and see it all in action,” said volunteer Daniel Keetels, who worked with the Vodafone Racing Team.
Bevan Michel volunteered this year with the Ford Performance Racing Team. He was able to demonstrate the practical skills and training gained over the last 12 months at TAFE at the event which expanded his understanding of this industry.
Megan Davies, a Diploma of Events student at TAFE’s Ourimbah campus, travelled to Sydney to work in a spectator services role in the Information Booth.
“Everything we’ve been learning at TAFE has become real at this large event. It’s exceeded our expectations,” Megan said.
TAFE NSW automotive apprentices have been proud supporters of the Sydney Telstra 500 since its launch in 2009 and this event experience develops the skills students need for the careers they seek in the motor industry.
The event also allows employers to see TAFE NSW students in action and to recruit for full-time positions. This is the case for student volunteer, Ryan Mugeridge. Following the 2009 event, Ryan was offered a paid position with the V8 Supercar Team of Garry Rogers Motorsport.
“The Sydney Telstra 500 is a great opportunity to promote automotive careers to young people. It was fantastic to see so many of our TAFE NSW students this year actively engaged with the motorsport industry,” said Madelinka Sulic, TAFE NSW Director of Corporate Relations and Business Development.
“TAFE NSW was pleased to once again collaborate with the Sydney Telstra 500 organisers to provide TAFE NSW students with the opportunity to put to the test the breadth of skills and knowledge they have acquired through their studies,” said Kathy Rankin, TAFE NSW, General Manager, Training and Education Support.