TAFE NSW is helping teenagers stay in school and complete Year 12 with not just an ATAR but a vocational qualification and a job in the industry through TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training courses.
Research from the NSW Department of Education shows that students who complete Year 12 are 6 per cent more likely to earn above minimum wage and less likely to be unemployed and not studying at the age of 24 than students who leave school early.
Sama Fuamatu is among thousands of Year 12 graduates to finish school this week with a job waiting for them after completing an apprenticeship alongside school through TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Migrating to Australia from Samoa with limited English four years ago, Sama completed a Certificate III in Barbering from TAFE NSW Liverpool through a TVET course and will work as a barber in Campbelltown’s esteemed Royal Blends Barbershop after finishing school.
“I’ve already got a year of experience as an apprentice through TAFE NSW, and now that I’m finishing Year 12, I’m looking forward to dedicating my time to refining my skills on the job”, he said.
“I didn’t know any English when my family and I moved here from Samoa, so I’ve worked hard to build not only my skills as a barber but also my conversational skills – I’ve learnt that communication is key to being a good barber and giving clients a great experience. It’s a very rewarding job.”
The 19-year-old adds State Finalist to his impressive career start, being named Finalist for School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year in the 2023 NSW Training Awards at Sydney Town Hall on Friday night. The title follows his win as School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year for the 2023 Southern and South Western Sydney Training Awards earlier this year.
“I want to encourage kids like me who have moved to Australia from other countries to stay in school and give TVET courses a go. It’s the best way to get work experience while staying in school.”
The annual NSW Training Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students and apprentices in the vocational education and training sector, with finalists representing the best in their field.
TAFE NSW Chief Delivery Officer Janet Schorer said the competition was strong, with TAFE NSW finalists representing a range of in-demand industries providing critical services to NSW communities.
“The South West Sydney region employs over 1,600 hairdressers and barbers, with the industry expected to grow by another 9% nationally by 2026.
“Sama is an example of the high-quality graduates TAFE NSW is training to meet skills demand now and into the future.”
Media contact: Emily Dart, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, Emily.Dart1@tafensw.edu.au, 02 7921 6315.