Building the recovery workforce through short courses

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

The University of Newcastle has unveiled a suite of short courses to give displaced workers a chance to upskill or reskill and help build a thriving workforce in the post COVID-19 recovery phase.

Student reading a book in the library at the University of Newcastle
Student reading a book in the library at the University of Newcastle

A suite of graduate certificate courses will be available 11 May 2020, across growth disciplines, including environmental management and sustainability, project management for building, data analytics, IT and cyber security.

Professor Mark Hoffman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Vice-President said the University is excited to offer people the opportunity to upskill or reskill in areas that will make a difference at such a critical time.

“We know that many people in our area have been impacted by COVID-19 – whether they’ve lost their jobs or had their employment reduced.

“These short courses will be a welcome solution for many who will be able to use the next six months learning a new set of skills,” Professor Hoffman said.

Since the University of Newcastle indicated it would be part of this Federal Government initiative, there have been more than 1000 expressions of interest from the community.

Short courses are being offered in disciplines where the University of Newcastle is a recognised leader and where demand exists. More courses will be added in the weeks ahead and the University is exploring partnerships with other education providers to deliver a comprehensive set of options for our community.

“We know that investment in infrastructure is part of the State and Federal Government’s recovery plan, so qualifications in project management, IT and data analytics will be in demand,” Professor Hoffman said.

“We also know there are plenty of people who have seen COVID-19 as a bolt from the blue – one that triggers a different tack in life perhaps to follow a long-held dream,” Professor Hoffman said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly given our environment a reprieve, and we know our communities are concerned about our climate, so what better way to contribute and make a real difference than to be qualified in environment management and sustainability,” he said.

These courses will be subsidised so students will pay a lower fee.Successful completion of the short course will provide new skills for employment and also eligibility for entry into our degree programs.

Professor Hoffman acknowledged that these courses may feel out of reach for some.

“I’m sure that COVID-19 has triggered a renewed interest in tertiary qualification for many people, some may be uncertain about how to go about it and whether they will be able to succeed,” Professor Hoffman said.

“For those people who aren’t ready to take on a graduate certificate, there are plenty of options to still study at university.

“For example, our Open Foundation program is free and is for people who do not have the qualifications required for direct entry into an undergraduate degree program.

“There’s still time to study this year – Open Foundation offers a Semester 2 intake and we know it works – for many people it is their first step towards a university education.

“Our University is built on the foundations of excellence and equity. If you want a University education and have the passion and commitment to succeed, we are here to make that happen. Nothing gives us greater satisfaction. So my message to you is, take the first step and contact us,” he said.

For more information on short courses or Open Foundation visit the University website.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.