Students upskill for free

IN PRACTICE:  Marlene Paine practises skills for her chosen career with TAFE's Carly Forrest.
IN PRACTICE: Marlene Paine practises skills for her chosen career with TAFE's Carly Forrest. Melanie Keyte

UNLIKE many of her peers, Marlene Paine knows exactly what she wants to do with her life - help people.

The 18-year-old high school graduate is one of 96 school leavers who have enrolled in TAFE's fee-free training program and is poised to start her studies in the new Sunshine Coast Health Institute.

Marlene said she's wanted to be a nurse since she was a child and she couldn't be more excited to train in the new health precinct, where she will be part of the first cohort to study there.

"I'm pretty confident but Ithink getting to the hospital where my course iswill be a bit daunting,” shesaid.

"As a kid, I've always wanted to work in the emergency department, I thought that would be really interesting.

"Basically I'm doing this to see if it's what I wanted to do and if I really like it to build myself up into working at a higher nursing facility.”

TAFE Queensland East Coast school engagement consultant Carly Forrest said there was an increasing demand in sectors such as aged care, health and education.

"As well, our partnership with the new Sunshine Coast teaching hospital, it's a fantastic opportunity for students to go straight into those areas and the first time they'll have access to the amazing resources and teaching facilities,” she said.

The savvy Flaxton-based student is heading out of school and into the hospital with a clear goal but Ms Forrest said the fee-free program was also perfect for school leavers who were less sure of their futures.

"There's so much choice and information coming at Year 12 students and it can become a real information overload,” she said.

"People can put a lot of pressure on themselves.

"I'd really encourage them to take a gap year and do a course - there's no financial burden, it's easy to study and work part-time or maintain your hobbies.

"Then you can take that breather and get some more experience, more knowledge and come out with a qualification.”

For more information, visit

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

$348m worth of work up for grabs at RAAF Amberley build

The EA-18G Growler, an airborne electronic attack aircraft, is capable of providing force level electronic warfare support.

Calling all painters, cleaners, bird proofers and 38 other trades

Woolworths, Coles, Aldi: Why it pays to check docket

Do you know about your supermarket's 'freebie policy'?

RACEWAY ROW: Ipswich Council accused of threats, bullying

Queensland Racing has accused Ipswich City Council of intimidation and bullying in an “self-aggrandising” attempt to take control of Willowbank Raceway.

The council was told the raceway was not for sale.

Local Partners

OPINION: Bachelor really crossed the line

Leah’s abrupt Bachelor exit is slut-shaming at its worst.

Marvel stars tease superhero epic

The four year wait for Marvel's The Defenders is over.

The Defenders stars on their long-awaited superhero team-up.

The two stars who intimidated Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth was intimidated by two other Hollywood stars.

Thor star says he was ‘weirdly shaken’ when he met two other actors.

Sam Newman: How a Playboy magazine changed everything

The new crew of The Footy Show.Source:Supplied

How a Playboy magazine changed everything.

Leah slams Matty: ‘I was incredibly disappointed’

Leah says she was ‘incredible disappointed’ with Matty J.

BACHELOR evictee's controversial chat with Kyle and Jackie O.

John Eales finds peace with the haka

Inia Maxwell and John Eales in a scene from the documentary John Eales Reveals: The Haka.

Rugby legend is on a quest to learn about a sacred Maori tradition/

The Bachelor recap: Secret pasts publicly exposed

Matty J is left speechless on The Bachelor.

TWO Bachelor contestants’ secret adult pasts have been exposed.

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!