Flexibility key to TAFE influx: Baxter

TAFE Western’s Orange College is enjoying a huge spike in enrolments, with more than 300 students joining the learning facility than last year.

Institute director Kate Baxter believes the increase stems from years of hard work and improvements at TAFE in Orange.

“We’ve got a 10 per cent increase on the same time last year, or more than 315 students,” she said.

“We’re very pleased with that. It shows that people are willing to support our local TAFE, and that we’re meeting the needs of people in the region.”

Mrs Baxter has TAFE Western institute director for three years and says it is by far the biggest influx she has seen.

“The increase in interest in TAFE this year has been really strong, and it’s right across the board,” she said.

TAFE is still accepting enrolment  and Mrs Baxter expects student numbers to continue to rise throughout the year.

She admitted it wasn’t just TAFE’s Orange campus that had enjoyed an influx of enrolments.

“Enrolment numbers appear to have increased at most of our colleges within the institute,” she said.

“In addition to enrolments in face-to-face courses offfered at each of the institute’s colleges, almost 1000 students have enrolled in TAFE Western Connect courses, which offer students more choices in training through flexible and innovative delivery methods.”

She believes it is flexibility  that has been the main ingredient behind the steady rise.

“We have put a lot of hard work into making our programs a lot more flexible,” she said.

“People these days have a lot more options. You can work from home and the internet and that makes TAFE a lot easier to blend in with other important things in your life.”

Mrs Baxter said some of the biggest increases this year came in engineering, hospitality, children’s services, mining and hairdressing.

Despite 2013 classes starting last week, she said it wasn’t too late for anyone interested in joining TAFE to become involved.

For information visit www.wit.tafensw.edu.au or phone 1300 823 393.

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