Homes North Supports Tenant Aspirations – Taster qualifications

Homes North and TAFE New England worked together to inspire a number of tenants to try out some short courses TAFE was offering in Nail and Beauty, Aged Care and Horticulture. The “Taster Qualifications” were run for 4 weeks so the students could get a taste of studying at TAFE and to find out  if they would like to do further study in an area of interest. Homes North’s Resident Engagement Officer Joy Wilson contacted tenants in Gunnedah to let them know about this opportunity and then provided ongoing support.

TAFE Teacher Michelle Rogers

The Skill Set in ‘Beauty Services’ was identified initially by the local job agencies, Homes North Community Housing and Janelle McCosker from TAFE New England, as an opportunity to provide skills and training in the local community of Gunnedah.  This was considered by all agencies as an ideal course to gain to entry level skills and potential employment opportunities.  Funding for this course was provided by Training Services NSW.

TAFE New England teacher, Michelle Rogers, is one of two teachers who have been teaching five units, including some practical units in make-up and nails, to the six students who enrolled at the course.

“Although this short course is beauty based, the knowledge and skills that the students are learning, can be applied across all industries and to their personal lives”.

“It is satisfying to teach a group of students who are extremely determined to complete this course and it is rewarding to observe them as they develop a sense of achievement”, Michelle said.

Homes North tenant and TAFE Student Melanie Fulton

“Taster qualifications” led to a new business for a Homes North tenant.

When Melanie found out that a short course in Nail and Beauty from TAFE New England was available for Homes North tenants she put her hand up; not only did she want to get out of the house more, but also thought this may be an opportunity that could lead to full time work or even the development of her own business.

Attending Gunnedah TAFE each Friday from 9:00am to 3.30pm, Melanie has learned about customer service, health and hygiene, WHS and practical skills on cuticle care and massage care of nails and has become skilled in painting nails and toe nails.

During the course Melanie was inspired to create her own business opportunity, pampering older residents in Nursing Homes.  She contacted Skin Deep Learning, a Brisbane Company, and sent them her business proposal.  They liked her proposal and agreed to act on her behalf. Their role is contacting Nursing Homes in the Gunnedah area to let them know about Melanie and her business.  Already, one Nursing Home has shown significant interest in utilizing Melanie’s newly acquired skills to bring pampering to their aged residents.

She hopes to begin her business venture in the New Year as she still has some units to pass before the end of the year.

Melanie says, “My self-esteem is better as I was once a person who was house bound on a disability support pension.  I find myself getting out of the house more and more and practising my skills on family and friends.  I see this venture as producing income for me, and my family will benefit from it.” Melanie feels that a course of this nature is important for her wellbeing and also as a role model for her children to teach them that education and self improvement are  important.

Her sense of “a better self” does not stop there.  She is much healthier in body and mind and this opportunity has made her feel excited and happy.  She says, “I have the opportunity to give back to my community.”