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From tradie to manager and teacher, Shane shines a spotlight on business skills in regional Queensland

Often referred to the backbone of the Australian economy, small businesses are critical for strong economic growth, now and into the future.

Working closely with business students and employers in the Western Queensland region, TAFE Queensland Senior Teacher, Shane Thomas, is sharing his advice to small to medium enterprises (SMEs), while imparting foundational skills integral to business success, in the Certificate III in Business (BSB30120) course.   

“Regardless of the current economic conditions, prioritising the professional development of your personnel is key,” Shane advises small business owners and managers.

“Training your staff and investing back into the business in areas such as marketing and product development are important, even if the trading climate may be difficult. The businesses that do this, are then well positioned to take advantage when the economic tide turns.”

Shane is particularly experienced in the unique challenges of running a small business, with a background in business ownership following a trade career in building and construction.

“I’m a tiler by trade and in my mid-twenties I got put in charge of a large building site in Brisbane for the tiling company I was working for at the time.” he said.

“I had more than 200 hundred staff under me and as a young tradie I had no idea how to manage people at all, other than what I've seen from my managers, which was pretty rough and ready.”

“It was during that time that I commenced a course at TAFE Queensland and that lead to a university degree in business and human resources.”

“I also set up my own tilling business and was approached by a number of my friends, who owned small businesses, to mentor them.”

After teaching at TAFE Queensland’s Gold Coast campus for more than 18 years, Shane has enjoyed the change of pace, and a warm welcome from locals, in his new home in Roma, in Queensland’s Maranoa region.

TAFE Queensland delivers the Certificate III in Business (BSB30120) at the Roma campus which has been designed to equip students with practical business skills, covering topics such as critical thinking skills in a team environment, sustainable work practices, workplace safety and communication skills.

For business professionals and small business owners who are looking to quickly upskill, TAFE Queensland also offers a variety of accredited and non-accredited short courses, skills sets and units including human resource foundations, bookkeeping skills, and LinkedIn marketing.

Retaining staff is more important than ever. Find out how TAFE Queensland can deliver custom flexible training options for businesses - big or small. Discover the best solution for your business and upskill your workforce.