2016 Hastings Business Awards
We believe in the Principles of Social Justice, that all people regardless of gender, age, disability, religious or ethnic background, sexuality, economic status or educational standing have a right to access quality education and training in a safe, respectful and accessible environment. We believe that power over the equitable access to education is a major key to breaking the cycle of social and economic disadvantage.
Finding a comfortable place of belonging for adult learners can be daunting in today’s competitive world of schools, universities and even TAFE. At Port Macquarie Community College, trading as SkillsLink Training, our patient, laid back approach is a welcome relief for people who are returning to learning later in life or trying to learn new skills to build another career.
A typical day in the life of your community college will see an incredible cross-section of people learning new things and developing new skills inside our walls; young people trying their hands at all kinds of new things such as horticulture, business studies, digital photography and hospitality as we support them to decide on a new career or study pathway; seniors tackling new technology as they discover amazing new ways of staying connected with family and life; people with disabilities learning life skills as part of an important journey towards independent living or employment; people from all walks of life wishing to re-enter the workforce or change their careers studying in our supported environment to realise their goals and dreams.
Personal support from the moment you arrive, pastoral care along the way, and teachers who help to explain the simplest steps to learning new skills, all help break down the barriers. Some people have challenges with literacy and numeracy and others find new technology a huge burden to operate. Whatever the learning challenge, SkillsLink provides personal service, small group learning sessions, and tutorial support to suit all learning preferences.
Our long background in community college values and practices guarantees integrity and community-up approaches.
We aim to put the U back into CommUnity – so that people come back again to learn new things with us. Often our students’ lives have been permanently changed due to the confidence they developed in one course which helped them to take on other courses and work achievements.
There is a warm, family-type environment inside the college, with people chatting about their different course experiences and sharing the feeling of satisfaction from taking on new learning.
Local businesses and organisations who wish to provide their staff with opportunities to update or formalise their skills, find the College flexible and responsive to their needs, where their enquiries are met with a friendly face and dealt with quickly with a “can do” attitude. Our staff are up to date with all of the latest funding opportunities to support the often expensive task of providing staff training and are happy to customise courses to suit the learning needs of each individual business.
Behind the scenes, out in our community, there are projects and activities that are supported by the work of College that brings the community together in all kinds of ways. Take the School of Hard Knocks for example. Port Macquarie Community College is proud to have established the School of Hard Knocks in our local region. The Absolutely Everybody Choir is for anyone living with a challenge including disability, homelessness, mental ill-health, or those at risk or victims of domestic violence.
Our community reach is from Port Macquarie to Nambucca where our approach is to learn from local people what their goals and dreams are, then tailor our programs to suit those aspirations.