TAFE Nowra - 2ST

TAFE opens the door to jobs in Shoalhaven defence industry

Production and manufacturing in Australia is rising and strengthening GDP and overall economy. Employment in processing sector in Australia is growing.

People looking for new careers and opportunities have a chance to get their foot in the door with the region's booming defence industry.

Nowra TAFE has joined forces with the Shoalhaven defence supply chain industry, to offer a free employment program to jumpstart a career in the industry.

Ryan Harding from TAFE NSW said students would start next week on a Certificate 1 in Engineering and work placement with defence accredited businesses.

"There's a number of local businesses in the Shoalhaven that are needing skilled workforce, so as a result TAFE partnered with the Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group and training services to offer a 10-week program," he said.

That includes six weeks in class learning a range of technical skills, and four weeks of work experience at some of the Shoalhaven's leading businesses that are lining up to be involved in the program.

And there is a promise of plenty of long-term jobs for people who complete the  course.

"Our business partners are Air Affairs, Sikorsky, Global Defence Solutions, Mellori and NowChem, and they're looking to offer jobs to the participants in aircraft maintenance, advanced manufacturing and logistics, just to name a few," Mr Harding said.

"These are quite high -value jobs and this is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door in a booming industry."

The program is part of a local strategy to help address skill shortages and support Shoalhaven defence suppliers to meet increased demand after the Australian Government’s $200 billion investment to increase defence capability.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher Metal Fabrication and Welding Trades, Nathan Bayliss, said the program offered anyone looking to start a career or reskill the chance to explore a career pathway in a fast-growing industry. 

"There is high demand in the Shoalhaven area for skilled workers in a range of areas, including advanced manufacturing, engineering, electronics, welding, and aircraft maintenance,” Mr Bayliss said.  

"Students will attend training three days a week at TAFE NSW Nowra, learning real-world practical skills in engineering and fabrication. The program will give students a competitive edge, with the skills ready to start work in the industry."

One of the business partners is Air Affairs Australia, and production manager Darren Bramley said finding workers with the right skill set had been challenging . 
"This program will help train students with the work-ready skills industry needs and connect our business with potential job candidates," he said.     
People interested in being part of the Defence Industry Workforce program can register by contacting Daniel Bennett, Illawarra Yes Coordinator on 0408 937 070 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


TAFE unlocks farming career options for Nowra's Caitlin


Australia's agriculture sector is facing a massive worker shortage, and North Nowra's Caitlin Edmunds is just one of the people using TAFE training to unlock careers on the land.

She left her retail job a couple of years ago to work on a local dairy farm, and found she loved looking after animals.

The 23-year-old is now on the verge of completing a Certificate 3 in Agriculture at Nowra TAFE, and says it has opened up a world of opportunities.

"It's a pretty overall covering course, so now I'm thinking I could end up shearing sheep, I could end up running around with a flock of geese at a duck farm,  who knows?" Ms Edmunds said.

"I just want to be out there looking after animals."

Ms Edmunds discovered her love of farm animals when she started working on a local dairy farm, but admitted she had no experience and no idea what she was walking into.

"I was so nervous the first day but when I walked in I fell in love, then after a year  of working there I was like 'Right, now I'm going to go do some study for this so I can get further along,' now I don't think I could ever go back to an inside job," she said.

Ms Edmunds said farm work offered so many things that retail could not.

"Well, I love animals. and I like looking after things and watching them grow or recover, and it was just very therapeutic for me to be in that type of environment," she said.

"Some people might think it's yucky but getting dirty, working hard physically, but having mental time to myself while being surrounded by all these animals that all have different personalities, also just looking after the calves and watching them grow, and releasing them into the field and watching them have a hay day - I just love every single bit of it."

That passion is something the agriculture sector is looking for as it faces a massive worker shortage.

National Farmers’ Federation president Fiona Simson said ensuring the booming agriculture industry had the workforce to meet future demand was a centrepiece of its recently released 2030 Roadmap, which outlined the NFF’s vision to grow the agricultural workforce by 25 per cent over the next decade.

And she the critical role TAFE will play in training the next generation of agriculture professionals, as the region’s farmers enjoy one of their best seasons on record.

“Vocational education is key to nurturing agriculture’s future workforce and TAFE NSW is at the forefront of vocational education,” Ms Simson said.

“TAFE NSW offers students an invaluable combination of theory and practical experience, which means graduates are ready to hit the ground running. “

Her comments come on the back of a record year for farmers and just days out from National Agriculture Day on November 19, with this year’s event showcasing the increasingly diverse and rewarding career opportunities available in the industry.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Sciences has released data predicting the farming sector would reach a historically high value of $73 billion in 2021-22.

And a recent study commissioned by Hort Innovation predicted harvest labour alone could be short a staggering 24,000 casual workers by 2022.