Joel Handcock, 32, has always been passionate about electronics. It stems from his younger days when he used to build computers. Seeking a career change from fitting and turning, he turned to Bendigo TAFE, Australia to cultivate this passion. Now pursuing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811), Handcock is on his way to realise his five-year plan — to take on a more managerial role in maintenance fitting and electrical — with no shortage of accolades racked up along the way too.
“One of my proudest achievements is winning the 2019 Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia’s International Apprentice Scholarship that Bendigo TAFE nominated me for. I was also the Electrical Apprentice of the Year and overall Apprentice of the Year, all in 2019. It was an incredible year for me award-wise, I was blown away to be so successful and the opportunities it has provided me has been astonishing,” he says.
Handcock’s journey represents what a Bendigo TAFE experience — from programme to support and facilities — could offer. It’s typical of the stories from alumni and current students here. Whatever your age, background or career aspirations, you’ll start as students and finish as job-ready graduates.
Bendigo TAFE has a track record of transforming lives spanning over 155 years. This experience is telling in how it provides support for over 9,000 students who join their wide variety of vocational courses every year.
There are general and specialised study and student support services. A dedicated team provides free and confidential services, from counselling support to disability support that are available to students across all campuses. Indigenous students also have Koorie education support available.
Need expert advice? Bendigo TAFE can refer students to an extensive practitioner network that can support you with personal issues, course challenges and the impacts that study can have in one’s daily life. For those with special educational needs, you will receive in-class support to technological solutions, emergency medical plans and invitations to inclusive community activities. If English isn’t your first language, Bendigo TAFE offers Spoken and Written English courses that cater to various levels.
Combine the above with courses that develop skills like entrepreneurship and agility, and it makes for a potent foundation for students to boost, switch or move up their careers.
Building and construction trainer Torin Coakley is a finalist in the Victorian Training Awards 2020 in the Teacher/Trainer of the Year category. He’s been teaching at Bendigo TAFE for the past three years alongside the trainers who taught him at the institute 30 years ago. “It’s nice to be able to share your skills with other people. It’s great to help them use those skills to advance and progress,” he says.
At Bendigo TAFE, students and teachers get along on a professional and personal level.
“They’re always just a phone call away and happy to help, even during their leisure time,” Handcock says.
State-of-the-art facilities provide the backdrop for the productive learning of these. At the Health and Community Centre of Excellence, for example, students receive simulated situational training and practical training relevant to the healthcare landscape such as nursing and aged care.
Access to facilities like these prepared Diploma of Nursing graduate Brendan Key for a new career in remote healthcare after he left the Australian Defence Force. “I decided to take the vocational approach so that I could get the fundamentals and gain experience before going on and furthering my education. Bendigo TAFE offered an excellent variety of resources and support for all students, with current best practice techniques, highly approachable staff, and limitless online resources to aid in studying as well as more conventional methods within their library setting,” he says.
Practical learning that extends beyond the classroom
Courses taught at Bendigo TAFE arm you with the knowledge and experience you need to gain a job in the field you want . How so? They provide a variety of practical learning opportunities. Throughout Brittany Maskell’s Diploma of Beauty Therapy (SHB50115) course, she was given many opportunities to work with and learn from industry leaders, such as Lycon Cosmetics Australia, Caronlab Australia, Algologie, and Dermalogica Skincare.
“Being able to apply what we were learning to real people from day one was great. That made me feel very confident in the skills I was building to be the best beauty therapist I could be,” she says. Switching careers can be daunting; getting promoted similarly arduous. With Bendigo TAFE — and its suite of job-boosting courses, support services and facilities — you can achieve both confidently.