Member for Albury Greg Aplin and local industry leaders have welcomed the announcement of a new accountancy course in Corowa as part of a range of high-demand courses available through the new TAFE NSW Connected Learning Centre (CLC).
For the first time, Corowa residents have the opportunity to enrol in a Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping at TAFE NSW Corowa, in a move aimed at helping address the accountancy skills shortage in regional areas.
A 2017 report from the Federal Department of Jobs and Small Business found employers in regional areas were able to fill only 56 per cent of accountancy roles advertised.
“I’m particularly excited because I know how critical it is to consistently offer training in areas of high industry demand such as accounting, especially in regional communities,” Mr Aplin said.
“The Connected Learning Centre is a game changer. The NSW Government is expanding training opportunities locally through this multi-million dollar investment in Corowa that will support local industry.”
The TAFE NSW Corowa CLC has more than tripled the number of courses available to students, Mr Aplin said.
He said the key to such an expanded course offering lay in the CLCs’ ability to connect students from multiple TAFE NSW sites to form a “critical mass”.
“The CLC will enable students in Corowa to join classmates in Deniliquin, Narrandera, Grenfell or even Glen Innes.” Mr Aplin said.
“I’m pleased to be part of a government that is supporting regional towns to grow their own workforce through quality training with TAFE NSW.
Andrew Holmes, partner at Corowa’s largest accountancy firm, Kilara Group, said the new accountancy and bookkeeping course would better enable the community to “grow its own”.
“Accessing local training is one of the biggest obstacles for us; students here have had to go to Albury or Wangaratta to study accounting,” Mr Holmes said.
“Once they’re commuting to those centres, I’ve observed that they are more inclined to get a job there.
“It’s made it very hard for us to attract and retain people and we’ve had to look out of town, with varying levels of success.
“We prefer local people because they’re more likely to stay and they understand the community and appreciate the lifestyle.
“The new TAFE NSW CLC will allow locals to be trained locally and that’s great for us.”
Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke said the introduction of the course was a boon for the town.
“It’s terrific to see that local Corowa region residents can now have access to more and more courses at the TAFE NSW Corowa Connected Learning Centre,” Cr Bourke said.
“The addition of the Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping is a great move to offer school leavers, and others changing careers or advancing their skills, the chance to study locally in studies that will help them gain work in local businesses.”