How TAFE NSW Helped Lee Launch a Booming Business in the middle of a Pandemic
Mum-of-two Lee Longmire, who runs a farming enterprise with her husband Geoff just outside Narrandera, enjoyed a lengthy career in the public service. But after being made redundant in 2018, she decided to enrol in a Certificate IV in Business Administration at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga – more than 25 years after doing a similar TAFE NSW qualification.
According to the Labour Market Information Portal, business administration roles are expected to surge by more than 12 per cent nationally in the next five years.
Ms Longmire said even with extensive industry experience, she thought refresher training would sharpen her skills and give her the edge when entering a competitive job market.
“When you’re presenting to a new employer, it’s not enough to have experience, you need to ensure your skills are current to industry standards,” Ms Longmire said.
“Employers don’t want skills that are old, they want currency and they want to know skills are aligned with the latest technology.”
Shortly after graduating and being honoured with the TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Student of the Year, Ms Longmire secured a short-term contract role with Charles Sturt University. Then in March 2020, she launched her own business, The Organiser & More, which provides virtual administration consultancy and social media support for small businesses.
“I realised there was a gap in the market where a lot of small businesses don’t have the scope to hire an administration officer but still need assistance,” Ms Longmire said.
“The business launched just when COVID shut everything down but amazingly, bookings exploded and I’m now to the point where I’ve established a wait-list for new clients.”
Ms Longmire said her time at TAFE NSW gave her the up-to-date skills to compete in the jobs market, and the boost to launch her own business.
“The teachers are so knowledgeable and supportive, and they’re all industry current,” she said.
“Taking the steps to refresh my qualification with TAFE NSW after my redundancy from the public sector gave me additional confidence in my skills and knowledge, enough to launch my own business!”
TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga Head Teacher of Business Services Rae Morton said a career change or skills refresh was more important than ever in the post-COVID jobs market.
“The COVID-19 recession is reshaping the economy and it’s critical jobseekers have the agility to navigate the changing jobs market,” Ms Morton said.
“TAFE NSW arms students with the real practical skills and experience to pivot into a new industry or relaunch their career in the same industry, just like Lee has.”
To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit the website.
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