With increasing demand for community services workers, Woolgoolga’s Paul Hunt is one of many TAFE NSW Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC) graduates learning the skills needed to support the Coffs community.
The National Skills Commission has forecast an 11% increase in demand for community, youth, and disability service workers over the next three years, driven by an increase in demand for care and support services, particularly in regional NSW.
“My employer encourages and supports staff to upskill and undertake the Diploma of Community Services through a collaboration with TAFE NSW,” said Paul, who works in Coffs Harbour supporting youth in residential care.
“I’ve been working for several years in the disability and Out of Home Care sectors, and previously completed the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability).
“I chose the Diploma in Community Services to gain the skills and knowledge and be better equipped to meet the needs of our clients who face many challenges and barriers.”
Due to his previous experience, Paul received recognition of prior learning, and said the supportive class dynamic was among the highlights of studying at TAFE NSW.
“The Diploma units challenged us to think creatively and develop our problem-solving and communication skills,” said Paul “I appreciated how our teachers included methods such as self-paced learning, group learning, and smaller teamwork. Likewise, their assessment methods were varied with individual and group written work and roleplays.
“Since completing the Diploma I am more confident and skilled to work more effectively in the Community Service sector.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher Community Services Diedre Anderson said TAFE NSW’s expert teachers and industry connections meant it would play a critical role in skilling Coffs locals to fill community service jobs.
“TAFE NSW graduates get their foot in the door with industry-led training and employer connections,” said Ms Anderson.
“Not only are our graduates’ job prospects excellent but they are entering or upskilling in careers where they make a tangible difference to their clients in the Coffs community.”
Media contact: Amy Johnson, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, phone 02 7921 0354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org