Seventeen-year-old Nanako is experiencing first-hand the benefits of Free TAFE for Year 12 graduates. The Queensland Government initiative supports high school leavers into work.
Nanako said being able to study a Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616) without the fees really appealed to her.
“The government funding for this course allows me to save money for furthering my education, as I also want to complete nutrition and business studies,” Nanako said.
“I am really interested in one day having my own healthy living business and I believe that my hospitality studies are a step towards that career pathway."
“The hospitality industry is also advancing at a great pace and I think it’s an exciting sector to work in,” she said.
According to national job outlook data, very strong future growth is predicted for food and beverage staff. There's expected to be more than 33,000 job openings per year in the industry through to 2023.
Nanako said she was able to secure a job not long after enrolling at TAFE Queensland.
“I am working in the Virgin Lounge at the Cairns Airport as a Food and Beverage Attendant. It’s my job to provide friendly service to customers, prepare and assemble foods, make coffee, serve drinks and clean,” Nanako said.
“What I love the most about working in industry is how I am able to apply and practice my newly learnt skills from TAFE Queensland into a live workplace."
“I highly encourage other eligible school leavers to access Free TAFE, as it allows you to obtain a qualification whilst assisting you in making a decision on what you want to pursue in life,” she said.
TAFE Queensland Director of Education and Training (North region) Phil Williams said Free TAFE for Year 12 graduates supports 160 qualifications.
“It’s wonderful that Nanako’s Free TAFE studies have helped her to secure work in the hospitality sector, which is a very attractive and stable industry to work in. I wish Nanako all the best with her career aspirations,” Mr Williams said.
“At the TAFE Queensland Cairns campus, students are accessing Free TAFE to study a range of industry areas including community services, engineering, automotive, hospitality and early childhood education and care,” he said.
Free TAFE for Year 12 graduates is available in the calendar year after students complete high school.