Non-traditional courses given chance to blossom at TAFE’s open day

FLOWERS: Mitika Fraser, Sarah Cox, Robyn Hall and Tiffany Fraser at the TAFE NSW Orange campus on Saturday. Photo: MAX STAINKAMPH 0818MStafe1
FLOWERS: Mitika Fraser, Sarah Cox, Robyn Hall and Tiffany Fraser at the TAFE NSW Orange campus on Saturday. Photo: MAX STAINKAMPH 0818MStafe1

Courses outside the traditional tool-based trades were on show at TAFE NSW Orange campus open day on Saturday. 

While the construction and carpentry-style courses had staff in attendance – including the engineering team with a giant Jenga set – it was the other educational options which popped out to the open day’s many curious minds, including plenty of youngsters.

One field gaining a lot of attention was the floristry course, which started in 2010 and is one of the more popular courses at TAFE. 

Casual teacher for the course Sarah Cox said the 18-month program received “a lot of interest”.

She said many people do a selection of subjects as a ‘taster’ of TAFE – with floristry being one of them – but it’s not as simple as throwing some flowers together and wrapping the stems.

“It’s very hands-on but also a lot of theory,” she said. 

There have been a lot of young people about and it’s good to see people thinking so far ahead and understanding the full range of options.

TAFE Western relieving regional general manager Adam Bennett

“There’s a lot of theory involved. Some colour theory, design, seeing what’s available, quoting, what’s popular, design, personal sale skills.”

Mature-aged student Mel Borwell was keen to study one of the hospitality courses, but said she was having a gander at “a bit of everything”.

“I’m going to the hospitality side of things, cooking and being a chef. I’ve worked as a chef before and never got the qualification,” she said. 

“I’ve had a year off work after 10 years in retail and I want to do something different.

“I wanted to go study first before going back to work.” 

She said a lot of the displays, especially the IT display and a virtual reality app, were appealing.

Her friend Logan Lutkie finished an IT Certificate IV course in 2013, but had yet to use it, meaning he wasn’t looking to jump into another course, but he was impressed with the “wide range” of options at TAFE. 

TAFE Western relieving regional general manager Adam Bennett said the open day had been “great”, with plenty of families in attendance. 

“We’ve had a really diverse age range. There have been a lot of young people about and it’s good to see people thinking so far ahead and understanding the full range of options,” he said. 

“We’ve also had a lot of mature-age students looking to make a change around the workforce, and there have also been people making decisions about what they want to do it year 11 or 12.”

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