Michelle Williams was forced to reinvent herself when COVID-19 devastated her massage business. Thanks to TAFE Digital, she has found a new passion and launched a brand-new career.
Michelle started a Certificate IV in Education Support this year and has already been offered casual work at Lisarow High School on the Central Coast after just two weeks on work placement.
“I knew having a qualification from TAFE NSW was a real advantage as well as being able to begin a work placement so early in the course. It’s worked out lovely,” Michelle said.
“I love the flexibility of TAFE Digital and that I can complete my studies while working around my personal life.”
Michelle ran a successful home-based remedial massage clinic before COVID-19 hit. She chose to study Education Support to continue helping others but have an income that wasn’t so volatile and easily affected by the pandemic.
“One of the main reasons I chose to study through TAFE Digital is I was able to begin the course I wanted straight away,” Michelle explained.
“When my business abruptly stopped, the uncertainty felt really uncomfortable. I reflected a lot over the Christmas period about where my life was going to go in 2021, and once I made the decision, I didn’t want to wait until February to start studying. I wanted to begin my new future and I knew I could start immediately through TAFE Digital.”
Education Support Teacher Lynette Stagg said Michelle is one of thousands of people who have launched successful new careers with the support of TAFE Digital.
“We’ve seen a lot of new faces at TAFE Digital since COVID began, from chefs to flight attendants, from people in senior management to those who are self-employed,” Ms Stagg said.
“People that study with us tend to love the flexibility of TAFE Digital. They can work towards a new career while taking care of children or having other part-time work.”
Lynette said studying online with TAFE Digital did not mean studying alone – in fact, the opposite is true, with dedicated support available for every student.
“We’re committed to providing intensive support to ensure students can learn in their own time and study around their personal life but still achieve their career goals,” Ms Stagg said.
“If students want to call every day, they can. If they want to email every day, they can. If they want to Facebook every day, they can. We have question and answer sessions every day and students can access free webinars and learning tools, so they are staying current in terms of industry skills.
“We can help people get the skills they need to start a new career almost immediately. Michelle is a great example of that – I think it took her by surprise how quickly she gained work. She was so excited and it’s just fantastic seeing these outcomes for our students.”
Michelle is now working full-time supporting children with special education needs and completing her studies on nights and weekends.
“The most important step to changing your life is to have some faith in yourself and try – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” she said.
“TAFE Digital has given me the skills to get me where I wanted to go. I absolutely love it and I don’t want to go back to massage. I am rewarded personally every day when I finish work – I wish I had done this much earlier in my life.”
Explore hundreds of courses online and kickstart a new career with TAFE Digital. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
Media contact: Terra Sword, Communications Specialist. Phone: 0437 697 723. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.