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Youth worker upskills through TAFE NSW to unlock management opportunities

TAFE Digital

Youth worker upskills through TAFE NSW to unlock management opportunities

TAFE NSW is supporting a Mid North Coast Youth Worker on her journey to senior management, through its business courses.  

Deb Tougher has worked in community services for 13 years, after studying a Diploma of Youth Work through TAFE NSW. She has now enrolled in a Certificate IV in Business through TAFE Digital, to expand her qualifications and enhance her management skills.

“I came back to TAFE and enrolled in the Cert IV as I want to grow my skills in critical thinking and workplace practices and policies,” Ms Tougher said.

“I also want to develop my skills in building and maintaining business relationships – which is very important for senior management jobs.”  

Ms Tougher works at YP Space, a youth homelessness organisation servicing the Port Macquarie Hastings and Kempsey regions. YP Space provides youth accommodation and development services in the areas of crisis housing, early intervention and prevention and skill development.

According to YP Space, over 300 young people in Port Macquarie and Kempsey experience homelessness each night.  

The Diploma of Youth Work has enabled Ms Tougher to make a real difference in the community and change the lives of many young people, recently organising a Hike 4 Homelessness fundraiser, which has so far raised nearly $40,000.  

But Ms Tougher says she wants to do more – and has goals of moving into senior management roles. She has enrolled in the Cert IV in Business as part of a succession plan with the current CEO, to ensure she has the skills needed to move higher within the organisation.

“TAFE NSW has been with me through my whole career,” she said.

“The Diploma of Youth Work helped me to understand the intricacies of this huge industry and develop strategies to really make a difference in communities. The Cert IV in Business will provide the practical skills training and experience I need for the jobs I want in the future.”

“The services provided by organisations like mine are desperately needed within our communities. We need more people with the skills and experience to step into senior management positions.”

CEO Caleb Rose says industry currency is critical in this sector, to enhance community engagement and student learning.

“We value our partnership with TAFE NSW, which offers a wide range of nationally recognised courses that are current and based on industry best practise,” he said.  

“This ensures the best training for our staff and outcomes for our business.”

“Investment in training builds staff confidence and ability, encourages teamwork and communication and provides opportunities for internal succession planning, ensuring business continuity and service consistency.”

There is still time to donate to the Hike for Homelessness fundraiser, as they near their target of $40,000. It is open until the 12th of May.


Media contact: Lauren McAllister, Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.