Now is the time to learn those new skills

LIVE TO LEARN: Whether you head to a face-to-face cooking class, or sign up for an online business course, it's a great time to learn new skills. Photos: Shutterstock
LIVE TO LEARN: Whether you head to a face-to-face cooking class, or sign up for an online business course, it's a great time to learn new skills. Photos: Shutterstock

WITH life starting to get back to some kind of normalcy, there has never been a better time to sign up for a new class or course. Many people tend to make resolutions around this time of year with a strong focus on exercising, losing weight and spending more time with family, but the new year presents the perfect opportunity to learn some fresh skills.

There can be an overwhelming amount of information to sift through when looking to begin a new course, so it's important to really focus on exactly what kind of course you're looking for, but also why you want to complete it.

Are you looking to take the next step in your career or change career paths? Are you finally getting around to learning a skill you have always wanted? Is this a chance to learn something new to help you around the house or help give back to your community? There are endless reasons to continue to learn throughout your life, and there is plenty of support to help you achieve your goals.

Finding the right option can be time-consuming; however, it's worth considering the amount of time needed to complete the course, whether it can be completed online, face-to-face or a mix, and if you are eligible for any credits for existing knowledge or experience. You should also make sure you can cover the costs and investigate whether you qualify for any government assistance or discounts.

The type of course or class you want to undertake will dictate where you should be looking. Employment agencies can be a fantastic source of information for both courses available and for funding sources to help cover any costs.

ONLINE: With great technological tools available, completing an online course has never been easier.

ONLINE: With great technological tools available, completing an online course has never been easier.

Organisations such as TAFE are also a great place to start. A spokesperson says they have hundreds of courses on offer that allow people of any age to get practical, in-demand skills and world experience they want.

"TAFE courses range from short courses through to diplomas and degrees," they said. "Students can learn on campus, in a workplace, in virtual classrooms where students connect in real-time with each other and their teachers, online at their own pace, or in a combination of these training modes.

"Career counsellors are available by appointment to discuss courses or pathways to help students achieve their goals."

TAFE can also help when the course you're interested in isn't available when you search. "Students who are interested in a course that's not yet open for enrolment can register their interest, and we will then make contact when enrolments are open for that course."

Learning new skills or undertaking a course doesn't have to be as formally structured as TAFE or university learning; there are plenty of other options available in your local community and online.

Organisations such as Skillshare and Online Courses Australia have a wealth of courses available, including beauty and leisure, aged care and counselling, education and childcare, business management, and everything in between. You can complete an entire course or even experience one or two classes to see if a full course is what you're looking for.

Offline, there are options everywhere. Community groups such as Men's Sheds, CWA, Lions and Rotary present informal opportunities to learn new skills while also giving back to those around you. For a bigger challenge, you could join groups such as your local SES or RFS, and help make a difference.

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