February 17, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio | NSW TAFE students at Get Local | Credit: Oneill Photographics

There were lots of positives from Get Local held at ICC Sydney this week.

One of them was the strong presence of well-briefed volunteers studying event management at the Pyrmont campus of TAFE NSW. The students formed part of the “Ask Me” team and could be clearly identified in their bright caps.

The skills and labour shortage is a major issue for the events industry. At present there is a flood of job vacancies across the sector and across the country.

So, it was reassuring to see a large team of enthusiastic people delighting in the opportunity to be part of a real event – helping out, learning and seeing a business event in action. For some, it was their first experience of seeing this type of trade show.

Student Oscar Braddy said he saw how important Get Local was for networking between businesses across Australia.

“It was very interesting to see the business side of events,” he said.

He aspires to get into the music industry.

His message to other students was that volunteering was a wonderful way to gain experience and to see the intricacies of how everything is run.

Fellow student Oscar Jenkin-Broadie said he’s never attended a business event before and he was interested to see how people like to network and make connections.

He said the volunteers had been clearly briefed about the details of the event so they could help delegates around the exhibition. He said he had worked in the events industry for three years and was hoping to re-enter it.

His TAFE training was very motivating especially what he was learning about leadership and management.

Hayley Solo said she had noticed a lot of companies at Get Local had sustainable product, the packaging was not plastic and that this was a cool thing to see.

She also observed the wide range of props at the trade show – all surprising for the student who wants to become a wedding planner.

These positive experiences help to attract employees to our sector after the losses of the past two years.

The volunteer program had 28 students and was set up by Get Local’s Nikki Gow in partnership with TAFE NSW.