Sherwin Panahon was working as a banking specialist in the Philippines before he decided it was finally time to pursue his passion in motor vehicles. His first step? Getting the right education. Research led him to TAFE Queensland but it was the school’s modern teaching approach, backed by state-of-the-art tools, that sealed his decision to enrol. “I tried taking up the same course back home but it was world’s apart from what TAFE Queensland offers,” he said.
Whether you are looking to begin a new career or advance in the one you are currently in, The Sunshine State’s largest, most experienced training provider has the practical, work-relevant training for it. With over 50 locations in the state, the Acacia Ridge campus was where Panahon decided to reskill himself to follow his dreams of entering the automotive industry. Spanning more than 22 hectares, the campus is based on the south side of Brisbane, approximately 15 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD and is home to some of TAFE Queensland’s newest facilities, with the recent completion of a 200 million Australian dollars capital works programme.
Here, Panahon’s vision became clearer. He joined the Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology programme unsure what to expect, but thanks to “first-hand experience on how the industry works,” and knowledge on developments in fuels, hybrid and electric vehicles, this comprehensive preview ensured he was ready to apply his knowledge in a placement.
At TAFE Queensland, curriculums and collaboration are both crucial, but industry knowledge reigns supreme. The school has links to several industry partners, making vocational placements easily accessible to students –– a perk through which they reap many rewards.
“Getting deployed to work for some of the largest car companies as part of the vocational placement programme helped us establish our names and build industry relations — which will later on benefit us when we graduate and seek employment,” he says. Once he has completed his programme, Panahon plans to carry on working in the industry while saving up the funds to eventually open a garage of his own — an aspiration that is closer in reach thanks to the experience he gained at TAFE Queensland.
Panahon switched routes to make a living out of his passion, and many are on the lookout to upskill or reskill to do the same –– keeping up with job markets in the process. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industries all over the world have taken drastic blows resulting in layoffs, hiring freezes and furloughs. Millions are personally and professionally walking on eggshells as the definition of a “new normal” seems to change almost everyday. Setting fire to inhibitions and taking the leap is the only way to go.
TAFE Queensland provides industry-relevant training to over 120,000 students from all over the world annually. There are over 90 courses available across 21 study areas, such as beauty, child care, engineering, manufacturing and design, business and commerce, nursing and healthcare, hospitality and cookery, tourism and event management, aviation, to name a few. It has a course to match every interest and career goal. International students view this institution’s offerings as the perfect solution to acquiring new careers, advance existing positions and ultimately adding value to organisations once they arrive back home with a brand new international perspective. “Three weeks after completing my course, I got a full-time job with Thalgo. It’s an amazing experience because I brought my knowledge from TAFE Queensland back to Malaysia and the company that I’m working with,” shares Soraya Elyna, a Diploma of Beauty Therapy graduate.
A win for students, a win for industries
As much as students enjoy gaining on-the-job knowledge, industry leaders too have much to gain. Australia’s business leaders view TAFE students as assets. Adam Houlahan from Riviera Australia, confirms this. Speaking about the company’s long and fruitful partnership with TAFE Queensland, he says, “Riviera has been working with TAFE Queensland since 1997 to deliver high-quality training through our apprenticeship programme. In 2016, we expanded our programme to place international students around our site, under the tutelage of our world class tradesmen and women.”
The founder of SecureStack Paul McCarty agrees. “I’m certainly going to continue doing this and I suggest that other people do so as well,” he says. For McCarty, it’s passion, drive and the right foundation that built his confidence in TAFE students. “TAFE Queensland allows me to find people that are hungry and have technical skills and bring them in, mentor them, help them understand broader operations and the technical world we live in.”
It’s not common for one institution to offer diplomas, degrees and multiple levels of certification for various academic and professional backgrounds and TAFE Queensland is proud to fill the gap. With pre-apprenticeship courses, apprenticeships, traineeships and post-trade training offered alongside curriculums –– graduates enter the workforce unstoppable. To get on track to do the same, learn more here.