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TAFE at School Launches Laura’s Career

Before studying at TAFE Queensland, Laura Horsington was still figuring out what she wanted to do in the future, but she has always enjoyed working with children

"I loved babysitting and looking after my little cousins and children from the neighbourhood. So, when I thought about what to do after high school, I decided to prepare to study for a career in childhood education through TAFE at School," explains Laura.

TAFE at School courses allows students to study for a qualification at TAFE while in high school, enabling them to join the workforce sooner, build practical skills, and graduate job-ready giving them a head start in the job market or enrol in further study.

Laura's mother encouraged her to study the Certificate II in Community Services – Childcare (CHC22015) to help her get background knowledge in the industry.

"As it was something I was comfortable doing, already quite good at and wanted to start a career caring for children, I jumped at the chance to study it."

Through the program, Laura visited TAFE's Southbank campus one day each week to complete the certificate II while still at school.

Armed with her passion for working with children, Laura was blown away by how much she learnt under the guidance of teachers.

"My teachers were so kind and understanding when it came to my studies, and I had help from my amazing TAFE Queensland teacher Deb who has years of industry experience."

"During the course, I also made amazing friends who supported me in all aspects of my studies. One of the things I enjoyed most was working in groups and the theoretical knowledge. Surprisingly, I found that very fun!" says Laura. 

Laura is now continuing her child care studies as she completes a school-based traineeship, something she feels TAFE at Schools both gave her confidence to pursue while preparing her for the real world.

"TAFE at Schools gave me the confidence to do things by myself. For example, I had to get the bus there, which I've never done by myself, and I was responsible for my learning and when to do the assignments," she explains.

Learning in an adult environment and deciding when to complete assignments was a step change from school and helped Lura become more independent.

"Instead of starting my studies knowing nothing, I already know the health and safety procedures, and I am aware of other cultures and how to make childcare a safe and inclusive space for all," she explains.

Looking forward, she sees herself working in child care with an eye on potentially changing careers one day, and she knows how she will prepare to make the change.

"I would still love to try other things because I'm still unsure if I want this as a full-time career. I would love to return to TAFE Queensland and try other courses to broaden my horizons when I'm out of school."

Laura, whose enthusiasm and energy have seen her be nominated for TAFE at School's Graduate of the Year, encourages other high school students to follow their passion through TAFE at School – as it was exactly what she wanted.

"I recommend studying at TAFE at School. Learning with other young adults and making new friendships outside school was so cool. I was learning what I was passionate about in a supportive adult learning environment that allowed me to study independently at my own pace."

“The knowledge and experience I gained from my teachers and classmates was invaluable. I love that TAFE Queensland helped me prepare for my current career before finishing school and how it has opened my eyes to future career opportunities," concluded Laura.