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TAFE’s life lessons for Jordan

Avalon Beach landscape gardener Jordan Cahill says that if he’d dwelt on the reputation of universities over TAFE colleges he may not have chosen the path that’s led him to the job satisfaction and success he has experienced in just a few short years – including winning the Horticulture Industry award at the recent 2017 TAFE NSW Student Excellence Awards.

The 21-year-old graduated with his HSC in 2013 before pursuing an apprenticeship with Cromer-based outfit The Garden Makers, finishing his time recently.

Jordan says his fascination with landscape construction and horticulture began when he studied earth and environmental science for his HSC. With a keen eye for design and arts, he considered studying interior design or architecture, but decided he wanted to be able to build “what my mind thought”.

“My TAFE (technical and further education) experience from day one was amazing,” he said.

“The perception is that TAFE is looked down upon by big universities and employers, however some of the most necessary training and job possibilities come out of a TAFE education.

“My teachers were like friends to me, always mentoring me to become the best tradesman possible. They teach you the guidelines and ways in which to do something, however give you the potential to work out your own methods to do things your way.

“It was a perfect benchmark for my career in the industry, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.”

At TAFE Jordan showed exemplary job skills in the classroom and through his workplace-based assessments. He also competed in the World Skills Australia 2016 national competition where, together with his team partner, he was awarded a silver medal.

Jordan said the best thing about his job was seeing a job progress from day one to the completion, and realising the potential of any outside space. Having finished a Certificate III in Landscape Construction, Jordan says he’s eager to pursue qualifications in landscape design or architecture.

“I would also like to keep building job sites with professionals and work with some respectful clients which will hopefully see me growing to build my own landscape company one day, or become a successful representative in the landscaping industry,” he said.

“My goal is to not only be the best in the industry, yet give the best, and train and educate the future students to make sure they are getting the best training possible and are giving back the best results to improve the industry over time.”

– Nigel Wall


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