TAFE NSW, Media Release, 8 May 2023
Ulladulla local David Doyle returned to study at TAFE NSW after almost 30 years to improve his literacy skills and switch his career from property development to mental health counselling.
Last year’s Adult Literacy Inquiry finding almost half of Australians are living with literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy gaps which limit their life choices.
Mr Doyle is training to become a counsellor at the right time, with employment in the sector projected to grow at 14 per cent between 2021 and 2026.
Mr Doyle has lived experience to call on following some challenges that lead to a personal breakdown. He hit rock bottom after his use of alcohol took a hold of his life. As he worked his way through rehabilitation, he was inspired to explore a career as a mental health worker.
His new career goal set him on a path to gain a TAFE NSW Certificate IV in Mental Health. First, however, he needed to boost his digital literacy skills.
Switching from operating excavators to operating computers and returning to study was a big step, one he said he couldn’t have taken without the TAFE NSW Statement of Attainment in Foundation Reading and Writing for Adults.
“I’ve always been a hands-on, outdoor worker, Mr Doyle said. “I had avoided computers to the point where I didn’t even know how to turn one on, and sending an email was out of the question.
“That short course at TAFE NSW Ulladulla gave me the skills I needed to use a computer. Now I’m up and running studying online for my Certificate IV in Mental Health. I’ve now got the skills and the confidence I need to use a computer which opens doors to so much in life these days,” Mr Doyle said.
TAFE NSW Career Pathways Teacher Sara Eastway said Mr Doyle was an example of someone who received the right training at the right time.
“Digital literacy is an essential part of making a good start in any course. “We offer a number of digital literacy skills training for people who want to navigate the digital landscape.”
“For many people using a computer is something they take for granted, but as someone who teaches those skills, I see a lot of people who don’t have them. That’s where TAFE NSW can help, just like David discovered,” Ms Eastway said.