Tafe takes a leap into the future

By Daniel Hughes

A group of TAFE NSW representatives converged on Finley recently as part of a special region-wide conference to discuss issues affecting the nation’s largest training provider.

Eight representatives from the TAFE NSW Customer and Stakeholder Engagement Team were in Finley for the virtual conference.

Finley campus services coordinator Nola Pinnuck said it was the first time they had been able to hear from the south region's head of customer and stakeholder relations Jonathan Davis since last year.

‘‘There were some valuable ideas across the group and new ways to engage with our stakeholders,” Mrs Pinnuck said.

‘‘Our Finley campus will continue to serve the community and help provide the much needed service in the Southern Riverina.’’

Mr Davis said the COVID-19 pandemic had presented many unique challenges for TAFE NSW, but the organisation was proud to provide continuity of learning.

‘‘A challenge we faced is that we had to stop much of our traditional teaching and quickly transitioned students to online learning. We used Microsoft Teams as a platform to engage with these students, which worked extremely well,’’ he said.

‘‘It has forced a lot of teachers to change how they deliver classes. We did a lot of training quickly and teachers have really embraced it.”

Conference participants also assisted in finalising the TAFE NSW’s regional engagement plan.

It will seek to engage with schools, local industry, campuses and with internal stakeholders, resulting in an internal database for all staff.

‘‘Each region faces different challenges,” Mr Davis said.

“For the Southern Riverina in particular we face the recent challenge of the closure of the border and what that means for students who live in Victoria and are studying in New South Wales,’’ Mr Davis said.

‘‘Other challenges include what impact this is going to have on businesses, if they will have the volume of customers now to stay open with border restrictions and how can we support them.

‘‘We also want to support local businesses that are suffering in the accommodation, hospitality, travel and tourism and aviation areas.’’