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It pays to study at TAFE Queensland.

The Sunshine State’s largest, most experienced training provider offers entry-level certificates to bachelor degrees across a wide range of industries. From trade qualification to English language enhancement and professional-level studies, each is defined by that TAFE Queensland edge: practical, industry-relevant and gets graduates jobs.

An August 2020 report by The Australia Institute Centre for Future Work confirms the economic and social benefit of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes, the country’s longest-standing, most reliable and world-renowned national providers of vocational education and training (VET).

TAFE graduates are highly-skilled and higher-earning. “Students who complete VET qualifications with TAFE institutes move into the labour force with skills that generate higher earnings compared to the earnings of workers without post-school qualifications,” the report states. “Employees and owner-managers with VET qualifications (including Certificate I/II/III/IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma) receive a wage premium of 39% compared with those whose highest educational attainment is Year 12 or below.”

TAFE Queensland has been producing graduates that fit this bill since 1882. Today, almost 85% of its graduates go on to work or further study, with 93.6% employer satisfaction rating. All of its diploma and higher-level courses have diploma-to-degree pathways. Over 550 university pathways are available.

With over 50 locations in the states, spanning over 500 diverse courses, TAFE Queensland is unmatched by scale and location options. No matter where your passions lie, this is a place to pursue them in your unique path to success.

We caught up with five students to find out their TAFE Queensland story:

Deborah Ku and Austin Huang

Taiwanese Deborah Ku and Austin Huang are former medical and industrial computer professionals who love to cook. Two years ago, that childhood dream jettisoned them to Australia. Here, they dabbled in more than 30 jobs and travelled the whole of Australia for two years.

TAFE Queensland

Source: TAFE Queensland

Seeking a path to settle and build a career in a country they’ve fallen in love with, they enrolled in a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery course at TAFE Queensland. “It is in a regional area, so it’s an advantage towards our immigration,” they share. “It has a good reputation in the industry. Students who graduate from TAFE can easily find a job related to the subject studied.”

Today, they are learning new techniques from talented and experienced chefs, clocking in more real life experiences, learning about laws and regulations and getting “a lot of good advice” from their teachers — all of which are taking them one step closer to realising their dream of owning a restaurant.

For the duo, TAFE Queensland is a place where they never had to give up on their dreams. Instead, they could build their skills, harness resources and gather information from those more experienced. “Step by step, your dream will come true,” they shared.

Jinmi Song

What’s it like to leave an uninspiring life in Korea, travel to Australia and break gender stereotypes by joining the automotive industry?

Pretty fulfilling, if you ask TAFE Queensland student Jinmi Song. At 32, the former shopping mall attendant quit her job and sought an “interesting challenge” in Australia. She wasn’t fluent in English then and was nervous so she signed up for an English course for three months and enrolled in TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Beauty Therapy.

TAFE Queensland

Source: TAFE Queensland

Then, she switched to working with trucks. “Beauty was such a great idea but it was not my purpose to be a beautician. I did it to get confidence,” she explains. “I was always interested in mechanics when I was younger but I didn’t have the opportunity to learn it in Korea and I wasn’t able to work in a male-dominated industry like here.”

As the only female student in some of her classes, it wasn’t always easy. Questions like “Can you lift a tyre up?” are common, to which Song answers, “Yes I can do it! I have worked for three years with my boss and three men.” With the gentle and safe instruction of TAFE Queensland’s instructors, Song now operates dangerous equipment like tyres, brakes and cars — many times, bigger and heavier than her — deftly. “I try hard so I am able to handle it,” she shares. It’s been a great learning curve, one she would not have otherwise. “It does not matter if you work with men or women — what’s important is your mindset,” she says.

Jiyeong Maeng

South Korean Jiyeong Maeng, a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery student, chose TAFE Queensland as it was “highly reputable and well-known.” After gaining technical skills and advanced knowledge required to join a kitchen brigade or continue with further specialised study, he is set to apply for over 81,000 chef job openings over the next five years.

“We offer a good range of practical and theory,” explains Cookery Teacher Damian Tiedeman. Maeng is gaining hands-on culinary experience in the preparation of appetisers, salads, stocks, sauces, soups, seafood, meat, poultry, breads, pastries and cakes. He is also developing his supervisory skills and learning how to manage diversity in the workplace, implement sustainable practices, provide leadership, manage finances, and coordinate cooking operations.

TAFE Queensland

Source: TAFE Queensland

The best part is Maeng gets to do all of this in Gold Coast, Australia’s number one playground. As Reg Morgan, one of the hospitality trainers, says, “We have all the theme parks, mountains, hinterland, beaches. A lot of events are held here. So I just think, ‘why wouldn’t you come to study on the Gold Coast?’”

Mandy Liu

Taiwanese Mandy Liu is currently on her way to become a dental technician. At TAFE Queensland, she’s learning how to construct models and custom impression trays, build removable acrylic dentures and alloy frames, and make crown and bridge structures. With an ageing population and the increasing number of consumers with private health insurance extras cover, Australia’s oral healthcare industry is set for strong growth over the next five years.

With TAFE Queensland’s practical and industry-focused training, X is confident she will be eligible for provisional registration with the Dental Technicians and Dental Prosthetics Board of Queensland. “I’ve made a lot of friends. The environment is wonderful. The campus is huge,” she enthuses. “All the classes, lectures and the time we spend at labs makes me very confident.”

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