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TAFE NSW and industry join forces to upskill staff

TAFE NSW and industry join forces to upskill staff

01 September 2023   

With competition for skilled workers at an all-time high, TAFE NSW is rolling out a new program to major employers in the Illawarra and South Coast to help them develop and retain the workers they currently have. 

In a first for the region, the fast-track program - Got the Skills, Get the Qualifications - is providing nationally recognised qualifications to workers in business roles across a range of industries.   

The Certificate III, Certificate IV and Diploma courses are being offered at no cost to organisations or learners in 2023.   

It comes as a survey of 185 Illawarra businesses by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra revealed that 56 per cent of respondents rated skills shortages as high or extreme, at a time when $33 billion is expected to be invested in the Illawarra economy by 2024.   

The Policy Manager of RDA Illawarra, Alex Spillett, said the survey found administration and accounting were among the region’s most in-demand occupations. 

“Admin roles are less likely to be filled by skilled migrants so it’s wonderful that TAFE NSW is providing training that will help to fill those gaps,” he said.   

“Many employers are also upskilling their existing workforce in response to the skills shortage.   

“This helps with staff retention because if employers are investing in their staff, it increases their competence and confidence and supports increased loyalty in the workplace.”   

Major employers taking part in the program include councils, heavy industry and the aged and disability care sectors.   

Head Teacher Kerri Leadbitter said it was a unique opportunity for employers to provide their staff with the skills and motivation they need to grow in their existing roles.   

“Advanced business skills make a big operational difference to employers, so we’re looking forward to delivering training that will help businesses to take advantage of the huge economic potential offered by growth in the region,” she said.   

Among those employers taking part is The Disability Trust, which provides care and support to people with disability and their families.   

Learning Partner with the Disability Trust, Janelle Booth, said the training would have flow-on benefits for the whole organisation.   

“By providing our people with this training we’ll have a more skilled and qualified workforce which helps to close any gaps and at the same time, having a more efficient and streamlined administrative and management team means we can deliver even better care and support to our clients,” she said.

“TAFE NSW is helping us to improve our communications and cohesiveness, which is great news for our organisation and the people we care for.”   

The Certificate III and IV courses will start on September 19 and September 18 respectively, and the Diploma will begin on October 10.   

All courses are being offered via Microsoft Teams which allows the learners to virtually attend from their workplaces or homes.   

The program is expected to be expanded throughout southern NSW later this year.