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Byron Shire
July 27, 2021

Get qualified! Where college leads to local jobs

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From left to right are students and teachers Krista Werner, Chie Chance, Jud King, Angel Gallo, Catherine Hollis, Eryn Wright, Gemma Flanagan, Inbar Karako. Photo supplied

A wide range of vocational courses – many subsidised – to suit young school leavers start in February 2019.

They include Early Childhood Education, Future Youth Program, Permaculture, and Massage Therapy to name a few.

And there are plenty of examples where locals have upskilled and landed jobs in the Shire.

Local Catherine Hollis recently completed the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and is now employed with local Byron Bay centre BuzyKids, where she undertook her work placement during the course.

She says, ‘Learning at the college provided me with all the support and guidance I needed to complete the course. The small class size meant I could get the help I needed. The highlight of the course was the camaraderie with the class and tutor, and I can’t talk highly enough about Jud.’

Byron College tutor Jud King has over 20 years’ experience in early childhood and says the small, supportive class sizes at the college are a huge advantage.

Small class sizes

‘Being able to recognise student needs and work with them to overcome any challenges they may have with course content or studying in general is very rewarding as a tutor.’

Another Mullumbimby local Leon Dawes joined the Future Youth employment pathways project between the college and Byron Council ‘to get a job’ last year. He completed four months of classroom-based training and work experience and has been successful in securing a job with Council.

‘I definitely think the course I did will help me in the future, particularly for interviews,’ he says. ‘I found the college easy going and the teachers were awesome, not at all like at school.’

College director Richard Vinycomb says, ‘Through the college’s industry connections and extensive work placements, qualifications lead to new job opportunities for students.’ 

‘The college’s local, quality and affordable higher education is an invaluable pathway for recent school leavers who may be unsure of their next steps, not ready to leave Byron Shire yet or simply can’t afford further education and don’t want to incur exorbitant HECS debt. 

‘Our nationally recognised courses are funded through the NSW Government Smart and Skilled program, meaning courses can be fee free or as little as $240 per course for many meeting the eligibility criteria,’ says Vinycomb.   

For more information call 6684 3374.

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