Newcastle small business workers now have access to free accredited online training as part of an initiative of City of Newcastle delivered through the University of Newcastle, TAFE NSW, and Novaskill.
The training packages include a focus on customer behaviour, digital and social media marketing, management and finance, and are part of the City of Newcastle’s response to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Training on business innovation and growth, community engagement, and leadership skills is also covered within the 14 online programs being offered.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Newcastle’s business community had been hit hard by the pandemic and the prolonged period of slower economic activity that had followed.
“The small business sector has been required to adapt quickly in order to survive the unprecedented effects of COVID-19 on our community,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This training is targeted at providing local businesses and their staff with an ongoing benefit during the recovery phase and beyond, as the economy returns to a ‘new normal’ state.
“By upskilling our local workforce and empowering people to learn, we can help provide a sense of positivity and support for the business community as they work to recover from this period of extraordinary economic and social disruption.”
Enrolments are now open at the three participating training organisations for anyone who works for a business within the Newcastle local government area that employs 20 staff or less.
Each ‘student’ is eligible to undertake one of the training packages, which are scheduled to be fully delivered by the end of November.
University of Newcastle Pro Vice-Chancellor, Business and Law, Professor Tony Travaglione said the City of Newcastle initiative aligned with a top engagement priority for the University, which was to respond to challenges in our regions and beyond.
“As the University for our region, any opportunity to help our community respond to the challenges brought about by COVID-19 is a high priority for us. The University of Newcastle is one of the top 200 universities in the world, so this is a great opportunity for businesses to access free world-class education to help support their recovery.”
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Jason Darney congratulated City of Newcastle for incorporating accredited training into the Community and Economic Resilience Package, which will provide meaningful professional development for small business employees.
“TAFE NSW short courses are perfect for training small business professionals in vital skills, which can be applied immediately to improve business functions,” Mr Darney said.
“The customised program of short courses support the specific needs of small businesses moving forward in the recovery phase of COVID-19.”
Amanda Saunders, Novaskill’s General Manager, said the organisation was ready to help support local businesses as part of City of Newcastle’s package.
“It’s important for providers like Novaskill, who are specialist at responding to small business training needs, to be ready and able to support our community through such difficult times,” Ms Saunders said.
“By offering Newcastle business owners and their staff meaningful development opportunities for the future, we are creating ways to keep everyone engaged and prepared for navigating the ‘new normal’ we are all now facing.”