More than 400 people across the Southern Tablelands have enrolled in TAFE NSW’s Lockdown Learning courses to upskill or retrain during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said more than 25 fee-free online or virtual courses are available right now, ranging from food safety and hairdressing to small business or operating drones in agriculture.

“The NSW Government, through TAFE NSW, is helping small business owners to upskill their staff, jobseekers to retrain and diversify their skills, and workers to enhance their job prospects,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“It is vital we keep people employed, prepare for jobs growth as restrictions ease, and ensure the Southern Tablelands region and the NSW economy have the best chance to rebound and thrive.”

Lockdown courses have proven popular, with short courses in construction and building already at capacity. Other sought-after skills on offer include mental health support, accounting, pharmacy, small business, and website design.

TAFE NSW student and Goulburn mum-of-two Abbey Burton, 28, is a hairdresser by trade who found herself unable to work during lockdown.

She enrolled in the Statement of Attainment in Medical Terminology to get a taste of a new industry she’s considering entering and be better able to read reports relating to the auto-immune disease she is living with.

“I found the course hugely beneficial and the online learning was easy to understand and navigate,” she said.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said around 20,000 people have now enrolled in the TAFE NSW Lockdown Learning courses, and almost 10,000 people were studying with TAFE NSW for the first time.

“The NSW Government is committed to providing customised, industry-led training to prepare our people and our economy for life after lockdown,” Mr Lee said.

“We know that many industries are in hibernation due to the pandemic, so using this period to retrain or upskill is time well spent. NSW will benefit from these skills in the longer term with a workforce that is equipped for the jobs of tomorrow.”

For more information about studying at TAFE NSW, visit http://www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.