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RIDING HIGH: TAFE NSW graduate Ben Ogden is living proof a new career is only a TAFE NSW course away.
A Newcastle dad who reinvented himself as a start-up entrepreneur after his industry was decimated by the pandemic has urged locals to consider a career pivot to position themselves for the post-COVID jobs market.
Ben Ogden, 33, had a successful career as an international corporate event manager before the industry was hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
At a crossroads and with a young family to support, he decided to pursue a “COVID-proof” career in teaching and turned to TAFE Digital to refresh his qualifications.
Locked down during the pandemic, he also launched a unique side business called Newy Rides that combined his twin loves of cycling and Newcastle by helping visitors discover the best of Newcastle by bike.
The business is thriving and he has just signed on as a part-time events and tourism teacher at TAFE NSW Hamilton.
“COVID has curtailed the events industry so much and I was already starting to feel burned out and ready for a new challenge,” Mr Ogden said.
“I love the idea of helping people upskill and passing on my knowledge, so teaching seemed a good fit.
“I also thought having another qualification under my belt would just bolster my CV if things went pear-shaped.”
Mr Ogden completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to earn his teaching chops and completed a Diploma of Event Management through TAFE Digital to ensure he had the latest, up-to-date training.
He was able to complete the Diploma in just six months, earning credit for previous study and his experience in the industry.
A recent paper by the National Skills Commission found education and training would be the second most resilient sector post-COVID, behind only the health care and social assistance industry.
Mr Ogden said the flexibility of studying with TAFE Digital meant he could focus on his studies where and when suited him best.
“The flexibility enabled me to balance my study, work and home life,” he said.
“The TAFE Digital platform was really clean and easy to use, and the support from teachers was great.”
TAFE Digital Head Teacher of Events Lisa Terry said Mr Ogden was a great example of how locals anxious about the post-COVID jobs market could reskill for the jobs of tomorrow.
“TAFE Digital is delivering a pipeline of workers to meet the growing demand for workers in a range of industries,” Ms Terry said.
“It’s wonderful to see professionals like Ben recognising the importance of keeping skills up-to-date and trusting TAFE Digital to deliver those skills.”
To find out more about studying at TAFE Digital, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au/digital