A move from electrotechnology to energetic toddlers – one man breaking the mould
Quintin Bell, TAFE NSW says, is “living proof of the remarkable variety of employment pathways” on offer to its students, showcasing the variety of opportunities Quintin has undertaken since finishing school.
Quintin has qualifications in electrotechnology and childcare, and has just started training for an additional qualification as an auto-electrician.
“My motto has always been to say yes to every opportunity that comes my way and TAFE NSW offers so many opportunities,” Mr Bell said.
The story of how Quintin came to move from aspiring electrician to early childhood educator came about at the same time he represented the Riverina at the 2018 WorldSkills Nationals – known as the “Olympics of skills”. He placed fifth from a pool of 12 competitors nationally in the field of electrotechnology.
“WorldSkills was great” Mr Bell said, “but I liked the idea of being in a career that was really in demand and so many childcare workplaces want males as employees.”
“I was raised with only a small number of strong male role models so I wanted an opportunity to be a role model for others.”
Mr Bell enrolled in a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW Narrandera and it was a real family affair, with his mum studying alongside him and his sister having completed the same course previously.
Half way through his study, Mr Bell was offered a casual position at a local childcare centre, where he will continue working whilst he completes his apprenticeship as an auto-electrician.
According to the TAFE NSW Jobs of the Future report, work in early childhood is “set to boom” in the Riverina in the coming years, with a 15.6 per cent increase in employment opportunities.
TAFE NSW Narrandera Early Childhood Teacher Karen Hunt said the local early childhood sector was “awash with jobs” and the work was both meaningful and satisfying. “The sector is screaming out for staff out here, especially with the increase of children with additional needs,” Ms Hunt said.
She said it was unfortunate that more men like Quintin weren’t coming into the sector, “because they offer a different perspective”
For more information about studying an early childhood qualification with TAFE NSW via the Narrandera campus, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au
Courses can be studied face to face or online, via TAFE Digital.