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'COVID put things in perspective': Locals switch careers with help of TAFE NSW

'COVID put things in perspective': Locals switch careers with help of TAFE NSW

A growing cohort of Australians are seeking new skills and making professional pivots with the help of TAFE NSW training, having emerged from the pandemic with new goals and priorities.

It comes as a new report shows 1 in 5 Australian workers have changed their careers in the last 2 years, and 18% of workers are considering a career in the next 12 months.[1]

32-year-old Greenwell Point local and mum-of-three Rachael Strong is one of many workers who was spurred on to change careers in during the pandemic.

After completing a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping, Rachael is now studying a Diploma of Accounting online through TAFE Digital, while working as a Trainee Accountant at Essentially Accounting in Bomaderry.

“I had been working as a restaurant manager for five years when COVID hit, but I’ve always had an interest in the financial side of things and found myself enjoying balancing accounts at the restaurant,” Ms Strong said.

“COVID put a lot of things in perspective for me – it gave me the time and space to see that changing careers was an option.

“Sometimes when you’re 30 or over, you don’t consider putting your feelers out or trying new things, but enrolling in the course was the best thing I’ve ever done. My grandmother became a nurse at 60, and I thought, ‘if she can do it at that age, then it’s never too late’.

“I was pregnant when I first enrolled in the course, and my husband is studying at university, so being able to study online was invaluable. Self-paced learning allows me to juggle deadlines with other priorities, which has been crucial to my success.

“The course has given me the skills and confidence I need to thrive in the workplace, including using accounting software, processing transactions, and managing budgets – and I’m looking forward to progressing to the Advanced Diploma next year and becoming a Tax Accountant one day.”

TAFE Digital Accounting Teacher and Coordinator – Traineeship, Angeline Sarcasmo said she is increasingly seeing students looking to upskill and reskill post-pandemic.

“It’s great to see more and more students like Rachael following their passion, after taking the time to reflect on their careers during COVID,” Ms Sarcasmo said.

“Gaining new skills is a great way to open doors to new career options, and our industry-aligned courses provide a leg up for students wishing to join in-demand sectors,” Ms Sarcasmo said.

Media contact: Emma Hughes, Communications Specialist, 0409 618 291,