18 December, 2015, The Western Weekender
She seemed confident when she first walked through the doors of her local TAFE campus, but Chantel’s* bravado masked a history of setbacks and hardship.
As a young mum from a disadvantaged background, Chantel didn’t get the opportunity to reach her full academic potential at school. But her young daughter was all the motivation Chantel needed to rise above the challenges she faced and seek help from TAFE.
Enrolling initially in the Certificate III in Hospitality at Mount Druitt College, Chantel embarked on training to gain employment in a restaurant or club.
Seeing a diamond in the rough, Chantel’s teachers took her under their wings and provided training to suit her needs.
Presentation, language and social interaction skills were taught alongside hospitality skills. Soon Chantel took on a whole new persona as she sought to behave in a respectful and professional manner. She was shocked when, in return, customers spoke to her with respect and courtesy. Her teachers describe this as an ‘a-ha’ moment in Chantel’s development.
TAFE Western Sydney sees many students like Chantel, who, with guidance and support, make great gains for their futures by undertaking vocational training. They gain confidence in their abilities and become employable.
Others come for job skills, to prepare for further studies or gain language, literacy or numeracy skills and many find a pathway for them to complete their desired university studies.
In 2016 TAFE Western Sydney is offering nationally recognised qualifications as well as fully subsidised part-qualifications and pre-apprenticeships in areas marked as a priority by the NSW Government. These courses are fee-free for those who meet eligibility for Smart and Skilled and can be a great way for students to ‘try before they buy’.
Now is a great way to consider how your skill needs can be addressed in 2016.
* not her real name
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