Blue Mountains News
Crunch Time for Western Sydney School Leavers to Decide on Plan A
The NSW Business Chamber 2019 Workforce Skills Survey has reported that 61.8% of businesses with skills shortages are unable to recruit suitable staff and that they are carrying more job vacancies in 2019 compared to 2017.
Across the Western Sydney region, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Early Childhood Education, and Automotive industry are just some of the industries experiencing ongoing skills shortages.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, said, “TAFE NSW works closely with industry to ensure that we’re delivering a pipeline of skilled employees who are equipped with the practical skills and work experience that employers are looking for.
“Considering the range of fee-free training opportunities available, such as the NSW Government Smart and Skilled and Fee-free apprenticeships initiatives, there has never been a better time for school leavers to pursue a career in industries with employment and career progression opportunities.
The Joyce review of vocational education noted this year that stakeholders were concerned that students who would otherwise thrive in VET careers are being directed towards higher education options where they may not succeed.
“While university may be a viable option for some school leavers, it’s important that vocational education and training is considered a ‘plan A’ for school leavers to pursue careers in areas that they are passionate about,” Mr Cullen said.
The Hawkesbury City Council has welcomed the encouragement of TAFE NSW to school leavers, and their influencers, to consider a range of career opportunities in the Western Sydney region.
“With the growth of the information technology industry and the move to digital platforms to support business growth, Hawkesbury City Council’s traineeship program with TAFE NSW is helping trainees develop skills that align with the region’s business needs,” A Hawkesbury City Council spokesperson said.
“Hawkesbury City Council’s IT trainees study through TAFE NSW because students receive the practical hands-on skills needed for an industry that is continually evolving.”
Mr Cullen has also taken the opportunity to reassure school leavers that, regardless of their ATAR, there are a range of degrees and pathways to higher education available at TAFE NSW.
For more information on the range of semester one courses available at TAFE NSW in 2020, visit the TAFE NSW website or phone 131 601.
 NSW 190 Priority Skilled Occupation List
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