TAFE NSW is encouraging people across the Newcastle area to consider a career in manufacturing, engineering or fabrication.
The industry is a vital part of the Australian economy, with NSW home to a range of highly-innovative, competitive and world-leading manufacturers.
According to recent state government reports, NSW manufacturers produce almost one-third of the nation’s total output, generating about $33 billion in industry value.
They also directly employ approximately 253,000 people – almost one-third of all jobs in the sector nationwide.
Local sheet metal fabricator apprentice Ellie Smith, who studied Certificate IV Engineering at TAFE NSW, is now employed at Cobb and Co Plumbing in the Newcastle LGA.
“Studying at TAFE NSW gave me the hands-on practical skills I needed, such as pressure welding,” she said.
“It’s a great feeling to apply those skills and be creative, especially regarding breakdowns and figuring out how to get machines running again as quickly as possible.
“I have been able to use the skills learnt from TAFE to repair parts for my dad’s bobcat, my local club’s bike trailer and other repairs for friends and family.
“It is very satisfying to lend a helping hand using the specialised skill.”
TAFE Newcastle head teacher for metal fabrication and welding Chad Hamilton said Ms Smith’s dedication to her apprenticeship meant that she gained key skills to excel in her field after graduating.
“Ellie brings a strong work ethic, as well as her attributes of drive, determination and positivity, which are vital in her trade,” he said.
“She has learned exceptional technical skills at TAFE Newcastle such as pressure welding, geometric development techniques and advanced fabrication skills.
“Ellie is a perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to realise their dream, gain the skills they need and hit the ground running.”