Why I'm not about putting bums on seats

I had an interesting visit from a very clever woman a couple of days ago.  We’ll call her Alison.

Her visit was because she mistook the Skills and Jobs Centre for Customer Service. “I’m here to enrol in a Certificate IV in Business Administration” she announced, as certain as anything, that was the solution to her yet to be verbalised problem.

An easy enrolment right? Sure, we’ll take your money, more bums on seats, more job security for me!

So as a Gordon staff member, why didn’t I take the win?  

Luckily, that’s not what we do at The Gordon TAFE. An ethical education facility won’t take your money for the sake of it, they’ll dig a little deeper and make sure you are getting the right value and support.  At the Skills and Jobs Centre, our goal is to help you manage your career sustainably. That means helping you make the right career decisions for you rather than our bottom line.

After sitting and talking to Alison for a while I discovered that this already highly skilled and experienced  woman had worked for an excess of 10 years in admin. She clearly was great at what she did, having been given more and more responsibility over her career and still loved it!

She wasn’t, as it turned out, looking to make an extreme change or in actual fact looking to study. What she wanted was to leave her role in a small organisation, where she had developed as far as she could, and find an admin opportunity with a company where she could grow.

Alison also wanted to be in a place where she felt like she was contributing in some way to the community. She believed when she walked in the door that her experience was of no value and that somehow a Certificate IV would provide her with more opportunities to do so. This particular qualification, in her case, provided skills which she had since surpassed during her already established career.

Initially for Alison, the solution is not training (not yet anyway), but to:

  • Do some research and identify organisations that offer what she is looking for in a role.

  • Determine a job seeking strategy.

  • Realise and recognise all the beneficial experience and talent she already has to offer.

  • Carefully target her applications, or prospective applications, by ensuring she is articulating her relevant skills in the best possible light.

Don’t get me wrong, education and learning are vital and add a lot to professional development. Let’s face it, lifelong learning is the norm. It’s important to stay current and employable.  A Certificate IV is a great qualification for someone with a smaller amount of applied experience to use as a starter qualification or to up-skill.

It is always important to consider your motivation and the specific value a course will provide, when looking to study.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my skill gaps?

  • Is the study I am considering at the right level?

  • Is it adding anything to my currency?

  • Will this study develop my skill base in the way I need it to?

  • Will it take me where you I want to go?

  • Or am I just qualification loading?

Education should be a value add to your life or career and an investment into your future. Make your time and money count.

Written by Tanya, valiant captain of The Gordon Skills and Jobs Centre. If you would like to discuss training options, you make an appointment with  Tanya or one of our advisors. 


Posted: 31/03/2017 3:00:00 PM

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The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 125 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

Our training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. | Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne.

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