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FUTURE FOCUS: TAFE NSW graduate and Snowy Hydro trainee Taylor Wiggins says she would highly recommend traineeships as a career move.
A Cooma teen who followed in her father’s footsteps by working at the iconic Snowy Hydro has urged school leavers to consider a TAFE NSW traineeship to give them a running start into a successful career.
As hundreds of local year 12 students prepare to enter an uncertain jobs market, Taylor Wiggins, 19, shared her “life-changing” experience of completing a business administration traineeship through TAFE NSW and Snowy Hydro in 2019.
TAFE NSW traineeships are fee-free and offer a proven pathway to well-paid jobs in a diverse range of careers.
Ms Wiggins, who completed a Certificate III and IV in Business Administration during her traineeship, completed her qualifications one-day-a-week at TAFE NSW Cooma and received on-the-job training at Snowy Hydro for the remaining four weekdays, allowing her to “earn and learn” simultaneously.
“For me, the ability to walk out with TAFE NSW qualifications and earn money while doing it was too enticing to resist,” Ms Wiggins said.
“I’ve loved working at Snowy Hydro and I literally grew up in the Snowy Scheme, with Dad working here too. Not only has it been an amazing job opportunity but it also holds a lot of sentimental value.
“I’ve learned so many different parts of the business and TAFE NSW has been great because it’s contextualised my training back to the workplace.
“The whole experience has made that transition from a high school mindset to a working mindset so much easier.”
Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the company had been running school-leaver programs for 30 years and was very proud to continue investing in locals and the future workforce.
“Developing a pipeline of highly-trained staff right across the region is critical to ensure we have
the skilled workforce needed to keep driving the business forward and bring new energy to the
company,” Mr Broad said.
“The work undertaken by our trainees and apprentices, and the skills and qualifications they gain, give them a big advantage when pursuing opportunities at the end of our programs."
Ms Wiggins praised her TAFE NSW teachers for their extensive industry experience and support of students.
Ms Wiggins, who was a finalist in the 2020 NSW Regional Training Awards, is still employed part-time at Snowy Hydro while undertaking a Bachelor of Political Science and International Relations at university.
TAFE NSW Cooma teacher Lee Clark said a business administration traineeship provided a solid foundation for a variety of careers.
“It covers everything from keyboard skills to customer service and WHS,” Ms Clark said. “Everything you learn is transferable to an office environment, regardless of what profession you’re in.
“The traineeship program is very strong at TAFE NSW Cooma and there are students from across a diverse range of sectors. This program is so valuable to a rural town because it allows young people to have access to top quality training and work at the same time, without having to leave home.”
She said the Certificate III in Business Administration was an ideal foundation course, while the Certificate IV suited those currently in the workforce and looking to move into supervisory roles.
To find out more about traineeships at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.