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TAFE NSW student's career inspired by her love of animals

TAFE NSW Tamworth

TAFE NSW student's career inspired by her love of animals

With employment opportunities in the veterinary industry expected to grow strongly post COVID-19 and over the next five years,i Tamworth veterinary practices are snapping up the skills TAFE NSW students possess before they have completed their qualification.

Piper Street Veterinary Clinic Practice Manager, Jess Pittman, said that versatile students like Tamworth’s Nicola Irwin are highly sought after by busy local practices because they are equipped with the skills that they need to hit the ground running.

“We have noticed an increase in the demand for vet services during the COVID-19 period with people investing in new pets, it has been great to have skilled employees like Nicola who are eager to learn and assist where needed.

“We like to offer practical work experience to TAFE NSW students which often leads to employment, as we know they have the skills that we need,” Ms Pittman said.

Self-proclaimed animal lover, Nicola Irwin is now working in her dream career as a veterinary nurse before completing a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing at TAFE NSW Tamworth and is encouraging others to pursue employment opportunities.

“I’ve always loved being around animals and wanted to learn more about them, so I decided to turn my passion into a career by studying and working at the same time.” Ms Irwin said.

I’ve gone from completing work experience to being a full-time employee at Piper Street Veterinary Clinic, all before completing my qualification,” Ms Irwin said.

TAFE NSW Animal Studies Head Teacher, Chris McKinnon said TAFE NSW works closely with local veterinary practices to arrange work experience for TAFE NSW to enable them to learn and practice their practical skills in industry.

“Veterinary nurses continue to be in demand and Nicola is the perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to get the skills and experience to be in a job they’ll love.”

TAFE NSW has a range of animal studies courses available for semester two enrolment. Visit or phone 131 601 for more information.

Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.

i. National Industry Insights 2020. Veterinary Nurse.