Community taster courses step in right direction for local participants

Creating supportive learning environments in local communities has been the focus of new taster courses being delivered by the University of Tasmania and TasTAFE.

For Tourism/Hospitality course participant Jan Chaplin, it’s a step in the right direction.

“The Tourism/Hospitality course has been great as everyone participating is really enthusiastic about the course and there’s a great unintimidating atmosphere each week,” she said.

“It’s a really supportive environment which enables you as a student to relax and stretch your mind.”

Despite suffering an acquired brain injury as a young woman, Ms Chaplin is a firm believer in pushing herself and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from 1999 to prove it.

“I’ve been looking at what course options are available to help increase my skill set,” she said.

“For many years I have been a tourist visiting countries within Europe, Asia and Africa whilst working and living in London. I've always had a real interest in tourism, so the taster course is perfect.

"It also compliments another course I'm doing at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre (Parents Matter: Career pathway training for parents program).”

The Tourism/Hospitality course ran for six weeks and finished this week, while the Caring course, which is targeting people who provide unpaid care to someone living with disability, will run from October 16 until November 21.

The University of Tasmania’s Community Partnerships and Regional Development, Engagement and Development Officer Leanne Arnott, said due to the success of the first Tourism/Hospitality program, organisers are considering offering a more condensed format in the Northern Suburbs before the end of the year and they welcome expressions of interest.

“The courses are open to people who are interested in working or studying in the tourism and hospitality sector, who would like a taster of what they may look like,” she said.

“The course is designed to be hands-on and useful for work or further study. Many people might think courses always include assignments or exams. This course does not.  

“We’re finding that people are enjoying being able to learn in their local community space and are excited to hear from a range of people working in the sector.”

Mrs Arnott said the two courses would include a range of guest speakers and hands-on activities.

“Career pathway planning is a key feature, with each participant having an individual consultation to look at how the skills learnt from the course along with their existing skills can articulate to further study or paid employment,” Ms Arnott said.

Funded by Skills Tasmania Training and Work Pathways Program, the two courses will be delivered at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre and the Devonport LINC.

Photo: Newnham resident Jan Chaplin is taking part in a Tourism/Hospitality community taster course being offered by the University of Tasmania and TasTAFE.

Published on: 13 Sep 2018 6:07pm