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Taster courses at TAFE NSW Cobar give locals an appetite for learning


Taster courses at TAFE NSW Cobar give locals an appetite for learning

TAFE NSW Cobar recently held its first welding taster courses in three years – and they've been an instant hit with the local community.

Demand for the free Statement of Attainment in Introduction to Welding surprised everyone, with courses filling to capacity just days after they were advertised.

TAFE NSW Cobar has already filled additional courses starting this semester and there are plans to launch a Certificate II in Engineering (Metal Fabrication and Welding) in 2022.

The taster courses attracted a range of people from the local community including five apprentices from Glencore’s CSA Mine who were looking to upskill.

“It’s been great. Our apprentices get basic welding skills as part of their apprenticeship but to receive one-on-one support and guidance from a qualified boiler maker is invaluable,” Glencore’s Mobile Maintenance Superintendent Peter Patton said.

“Our apprentices can now undertake more intricate jobs in fabrication as well as standard repair work. This TAFE NSW course has really improved their technical abilities and makes our apprentices more versatile on the job site. I even did the course with them to hone my own skills.”

Welding Teacher Wade Greenwood said the taster courses also attracted self-taught farmers wanting to improve their techniques and safety knowledge as well as retirees keen to start a new hobby.

“One student, Joan Maiden, created some really interesting art pieces including a brolga made from old tools and scrap metal. It’s really very beautiful,” Mr Greenwood said.

Seventy-one-year-old Joan said after her husband passed away, she saw his welder sitting in their shed and decided she’d like to give it a go.

“I was interested in doing garden ornaments. When I saw the free course advertised at TAFE NSW, it was perfect,” she said.

“I loved making the brolga and I also made a cow from an axe-head, shovel and horseshoes. I have quite a few projects in mind now – I’ve started making pot stands for camp ovens from old horseshoes and I’m sculpting a bird’s nest using barbed wire and birds made from pliers.

“I would like to do another TAFE NSW course to keep building my skills. It’s just something very different to anything I’ve ever done before – and I love it.”

TAFE Services Coordinator Claudine Griffiths said TAFE NSW Cobar will continue to offer a variety of free short courses during 2021 to encourage local community members to upskill or give study a go.

Short courses on offer include excavator and loader operations, barista courses, photography, responsible service of alcohol and other short courses that are meeting a local demand.

“These courses are really valuable to teach people the best-practice industry skills they need to upskill in their trade or profession, or take the next step in their career,” Ms Griffiths said.

“Taster courses are fantastic because people learn valuable skills, achieve a goal and for those who haven’t done a lot of education, a short course can really build confidence. TAFE NSW short courses give people the opportunity to develop themselves in their chosen career or try something new and see if it’s an interest they are passionate about and want to pursue.”

Mr Greenwood said in Western NSW, building skills and gaining a TAFE NSW qualification ensured rural people could find and retain jobs.

“Getting any TAFE NSW qualification means you have a nationally recognised competency and the weight and value they hold in industry is just phenomenal,” Mr Greenwood.

“Whether it’s for your own learning or because you want to find or retain a job, that qualification from TAFE NSW goes a long way.”

Pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW and explore hundreds of courses now on offer. For more information visit or phone 131 601.

Media contact: Terra Sword, Communications Specialist. Phone: 0437 697 723. Email: