According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook, the number of Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals is expected to grow strongly over the next five years: from 25,000 in 2018 to 27,300 by 2023. There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over this timeframe – that is about 2,600 a year.
With a view to upskilling and working in a profession she is passionate about, TAFE Digital Diploma of Work Health and Safety (WHS) graduate, Sandy Meckiff has landed her dream job as an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Consultant with Marsh Risk Consulting, Marsh & McLennan in Melbourne.
Ms Meckiff said, “Having worked in the Retail Pharmacy sector for 25 years, WHS was a far cry from my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to challenge myself, upskill and work in an industry sector which I am passionate about to get ahead.”
She duly embarked on studying a Business Management course with TAFE NSW, but as the only component she enjoyed was WHS, she quickly transferred to studying a Diploma in that area of specialisation.
“I decided to study the Diploma online, as I was a stay at home mum with one child in kindergarten and another in early primary school and also worked evenings,” she said. “The flexibility of being able to study from home around my children’s and work commitments, while eliminating travel and class time, suited me perfectly.”
Ms Meckiff easily established a study routine during quiet times at home and rapidly completed units at her own pace. “The feedback from the assessors was brilliant, and further informed my work outputs and understanding of each topic,” she said. “There was always an experienced teacher available to assist if I was stuck on a question, or needed a contextual explanation of a particular area I was working on. They frequently described scenarios from their own personal work experiences, which quantified my understanding.”
This course has enabled Ms Meckiff to make a complete change in career direction. “I would not have had the understanding, technical knowledge or legislative comprehension required to work in WHS if I had not completed the Diploma,” she said. “It’s almost as if the course was written to spec for my current role.”
As an OHS Consultant in the Risk Management team at Marsh & McLennan, Ms Meckiff’s core business focus is to support the implementation of an OHS management system for a state government organisation. “Each unit studied has had direct use and application in my current role,” she said. “In particular consultation and communication with health and safety representatives in the workplace; hazard management related to chemicals, dangerous goods and hazardous substances; asbestos legislative requirements; incident investigation including risk management of the area; contractor and risk management.”
TAFE Digital is accepting enrolments for hundreds of great online courses. For information please visit https://www.tafensw.edu.au/digital or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Bonny Gunn, TAFE Digital Media Business Partner. M 0417 134 048.