MEDIA RELEASE - Free TAFE courses to support NSW in pandemic good, but let's do more

Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison MP, said the Government’s suite of 21 fee-free TAFE NSW online short courses was a step in the right direction, but has called on the Government to be more focused on the emerging skill gaps for workers and businesses trying to adapt to the new way of working in the Covid-9 pandemic.

A suite of 21 fee-free TAFE NSW short courses are available online to assist anyone across the State who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 21 short courses include:

  • eMarketing for Small Business;

  • Engaging Customers Using Social Media;

  • Writing and Presentation Skills;

  • Computing Skills;

  • Team Leader Skill Set; and

  • Administration Skills for Team Leaders.

“TAFE NSW has been a reliable educational institution for more than 130 years supporting communities all across NSW. I hope these fee-free courses will be put to good use in our area during this challenging time,” Ms Aitchison said.

“We know that circumstances have changed for a lot of people and business owners, which means the way they work and how they conduct their business has also changed,” Ms Aitchison said.

“I’ve spoken to business owners and employees who are working to diversify their businesses during the pandemic, who will welcome these new courses, but there are a number of urgent and key areas that appear to have been missed.

Many office workers and customer service officers have told me they would like to improve their skills in teleconferencing but it does not appear to be covered.

“In terms of the jobs that are being offered in the market right now, we know that supermarkets are increasing home deliveries, so warehousing, transport and logistics are all areas where there are emerging skill gaps.

“For our front line workers in retail, who are dealing with lots of anxious and sometimes aggressive customers, sadly courses on conflict management and dealing with difficult people should be included in the offering.”

“The TAFE NSW fee-free accredited courses will contribute to helping businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs. It’s vital we keep people employed and ensure we have the ability to rebound when things do improve.

“We also understand that many industries are in hibernation, so using this period to upskill for the future is time well spent. I’d like to see that employers are supporting the work health safety needs of their employees as well, for example loaning them ergonomic equipment if they are required to work from home, and checking in with them regularly to check on their mental health. Working or studying from home can be very isolating, especially for those without families.”

More information, including a full list of courses, is available here or by calling 131 601