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Chioma upskills to break into construction industry

Chioma Ogbonna made a giant leap to leave her home country of Nigeria to start a new life in Australia, and with that came the challenges of starting her career in construction all over again.

In Nigeria, Chioma was an accomplished construction industry professional who had obtained a Bachelor of Science in Quantity Surveying and Master of Science in Construction Management.

Since completing her university studies she started in construction administration before moving up the ladder into a quality insurance role where she managed all aspects of compliance for engineers, tradespeople and contractors onsite.

“It’s been very difficult to get a job so far because I don’t have the Australian industry experience,” Chioma said.

However thanks to a TAFE Queensland Scholarship, Chioma is now studying a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Estimating)(CPC40308) to broaden her Australian construction industry knowledge, and start a new journey towards her careers goals.

“I know that my TAFE Queensland course will help me to further develop my knowledge of the local construction methods and processes here in Australia and that this knowledge will improve my prospects in the job market and help me to achieve my career goals,” she said.

The mother of two hopes to one day help other females break into the heavily male-dominated industry.

“My long term goal is to be able to one day help other minorities into a construction career and to be able to pass on my knowledge and experience,” she continued.

“I believe that attracting and retaining minorities such as females into the construction sector is extremely important. This will ensure there is a sustainable workforce supply into to the construction sector which will be vital for the continued growth of the industry and the Australian economy.”

On top of her TAFE Queensland studies Chioma is also learning how to use estimating software costX, having noted that this skill set will also increase her chances of finding employment.

“My ideal job would be to work in a construction administration role and I noticed that knowledge of costX is a requirement for many of the construction administration roles here,” Chioma said.

“In the construction industry things are always changing through new technologies and I believe that you have to keep updating your knowledge or otherwise you will be left behind.”

“When I go for interviews and I am asked what I’ve been doing with my career since coming to Australia; I want to show potential employers that I am adding knowledge to what I already know and upskilling to be job ready,” she said.

Applications for a TAFE Queensland scholarship to commence study in semester one, 2022 are now open and close on 24 September 2021. Successful recipients are eligible to receive up to $5,000 to study any TAFE Queensland qualification in 2022 from a Certificate III through to Advanced Diploma and Bachelor Degrees across all industry areas.