All posts by Trainsmart Australia

A look back at our ghoulish Halloween make-up show

It’s October – and that marks the beginning of Halloween season! At TrainSmart, this time of year reminds us of our amazing Halloween special effects make-up show from last October. Held in Fremantle, the pop-up event was an incredible opportunity for our Screen and Media students to showcase their make-up skills in a fun environment.

They created some truly scary characters using liquid latex, a few props, a bit of fake blood and some dramatic make-up. It was a sight to behold, with passers-by stopping to marvel at our gruesome and ghoulish creations.

And we couldn’t help but take this opportunity to reminisce about the event!

Check out some of the photos from the event below – maybe they’ll provide you with some inspiration for your Halloween costume this year, or even inspire you to pursue a creative new career in make-up!


How to build good mental health

Good mental health is more than just the absence of mental illness. It takes some effort to cultivate, which isn’t always easy – but it’s always worth it. And while it’s important to work on keeping yourself mentally well all year, it’s something you should be particularly aware of today. That’s because it’s World Mental Health Day, marked each year on October 10 as an occasion to bring awareness to and reduce the stigma around mental illness.

Experts say 1 in 5 Australians will experience mental illness in any given year – and the problem is growing. And the fact that it’s often a taboo topic means a lot of people go without getting help.

So what are some strategies that can boost mental health?

To coincide with World Mental Health Day, here’s some simple, practical tips that don’t cost a fortune or take heaps of time:

1. Go outside

According to a number of studies, spending time in nature can boost your mood by lowering your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Another study shows that spending just five minutes in a green space can boost your wellbeing and self-esteem – so make some time to go outside every day, even if it’s just a walk around the block after work or eating your lunch in a local park.

2. Build relationships

How often do you socialise with friends and family in person, as opposed to online or on the phone?

Research shows that limited face-to-face social contact can double your risk of depression, while loneliness has even been linked to early mortality. So put down that smartphone and organise to catch-up with your loved ones in person instead.

3. Exercise and eat well

Regular exercise boosts your mood, reduces stress and improves sleep. It’s so beneficial, it’s even been shown to reduce symptoms of serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and PTSD – and it can help you feel better even if you already feel good.

Eating healthily is also part of the wellness equation. Whole foods like fruit and vegetables should form the bulk of your diet, while you should aim to limit your intake of alcohol and junk food.

But fear not: treating yourself is also important! Coffee consumption has been linked to lower rates of depression, and chocolate – especially the dark stuff – has also shown to improve alertness and mental skills.

4. Practice gratitude

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important and ruminate over what can seem like huge problems. But it’s important to keep things in perspective, and practicing gratitude can help.

A great way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. This helps to reduce any toxic emotions, enhances empathy and reduces aggression – all of which ultimately boost your mental health.

5. Meditate

It might look like you’re doing nothing, but meditation is in fact a very powerful practice that can improve your mental wellbeing over time.

A recent study shows that, in people with depression and anxiety, meditation can help shift thoughts away from harmful patterns. It also improves concentration, increases self-awareness and slows ageing!

6. Be generous

Giving to others, even just a little bit, is a proven way of boosting your mental wellbeing.

And that’s not just financially – being generous with your time, like volunteering at a community organisation or visiting your elderly grandmother at her nursing home – can also have a huge impact on your mental wellness. The added bonus is that being generous also help others, so it’s a win-win.

Are you interested in helping people struggling with their mental health? We offer a range of courses in the field, including Certificate III in Community Services, Certificate IV in Mental Health, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) and Diploma of Mental Health. Get in touch with us to find out more.

Inaugural Screen and Media graduation ceremony a huge success

TrainSmart is thrilled to have recently celebrated the graduation of our founding cohort of Screen and Media students – and what a fantastic night it was!

On Friday September 29, the graduating students from our Diploma of Screen and Media came together at Chris Huzzard Studios in Perth for the qualification’s first ever graduation ceremony.

Head of the Screen and Media faculty Priscilla Walton and TrainSmart CEO Surinder Randhawa presented each of the 13 students with their hard-earned diplomas.

As part of the ceremony, each student showcased their skills by creating a make-up look on a model under the theme of ‘avant garde hair and make-up’. The models presented their looks on the runway, after which students themselves then accompanied their models onto the catwalk to soak up the excitement.

The event also featured a professional DJ spinning some great music, which created a fun and exciting atmosphere enjoyed by the families and friends of graduating students.

And it wouldn’t have been a proper graduation ceremony without speeches and some exciting awards handed out to well deserving students.

The illustrious Student of the Year honour was awarded to Katherine Winslade, who won a two-hour photoshoot with local photographer Aaron McPolin valued at $1,200.

Other awards included the Rising Star Award, which was won by Ethan Edson, and the Perfect Attendance Award, which was jointly awarded to Taleisha Cook and Lucy Munn.

Head of faculty Priscilla Walton said the event was an enormous success.

“I’m incredibly proud of our first ever graduates of TSA College of Creative Arts (Screen and Media),” Priscilla said.

They worked so hard and are all ready to be professional make-up artists. Most of them are already working, and some are already collaborating with different companies – we have graduates working in theatre, print media, television and short film.”

“This is a huge achievement and each of the 13 graduates are doing TSA College of Creative Arts proud.”



Our community services students reveal what they think of their workshops

Online learning is a convenient and effective mode of studying, particularly for those who might have commitments – like family or work – that might otherwise exclude them from traditional study methods. That’s one of the reasons our diploma courses within the TSA College of Community Services are delivered online.

But as part of these diplomas, we also require students attend some mandatory mobile workshops in their state. This helps reinforce their learnings, introduces them to fellow students and gives them a clearer picture of how things will work once they finish their course.

So what do the students think of the workshops? Here’s what some Diploma of Counselling and Diploma of Community Services students had to say about their experiences, as well as their thoughts on our trainer Valerie:

“I just wanted to provide some feedback about the lovely and informative mobile workshops. Basing the workshop around practical counselling sessions is a fabulous idea and helped me understand the theoretical aspect of course. Thank you for providing me with so much support and enthusiasm to continue this course.”

“Coming to the workshop completely blank as I had not done anything yet, I found it very interesting and am so happy to have been a part of it. I found it very informative and a great benefit to all students present on the day. The role-playing was excellent, giving us a holistic picture of the module.”

“Valerie’s feedback for every student counsellor participating in the role-play was indeed a big help in the learning process of all students. She was so dedicated to sharing her skills and knowledge acquired through her years of experience, on top of her many qualifications in line with her area of specialisation. I am looking forward for the next encounter!”

“I’m so glad I attended the previous workshop. It gave me such a clear idea of what is expected of me during a counselling session, and the role-play helped us to practise our counselling skills in a relaxing environment. It was great to meet the other students and exchange feedback. All the teaching and tips from Valerie were very valuable because not all of it is found in the workbooks.”

I find the mobile workshops extremely beneficial. Not only are they fun, you also gain valuable skills and information for your chosen course. It’s also great to be around like-minded people. I always walk away feeling better than I did beforehand, and am always excited for the next workshop.”

“The workshop is well worth attending. It made the theory part of my study make more sense, and it really brought alive what I have learnt. It made me realise I have already learned so much within such a short space of time and made me eager to learn more. It was lovely also to meet new people who are all chasing the same goal.”

The workshops are so much fun! I enjoy being given the opportunity to practice the skills required to become a counsellor in a fun, friendly environment.”

Want to launch your own career in community services? Get in touch with us today to learn more about our diplomas and find out which is the right fit for you.

5 tips to stay mentally healthy while you study

Between assignments, family, social life and work, studying can sometimes be a stressful experience.

Almost half of all Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and new research from mental health organisation headspace shows that more Australian students are stressed, anxious and depressed than ever before.

And that means the odds are that you or someone you know is probably going through a hard time right now.While we provide support and advice to help make your time at TrainSmart as smooth and convenient as possible, there are still additional things you can do to look after your mental health.

In the lead-up to World Mental Health Day on October 10, here are 5 tips to stay mentally healthy while you complete your studies:

Time management is critical to managing stress while you study. And while stress is not a mental illness, it can trigger or exacerbate it in someone who’s already vulnerable.

That means developing solid time management skills can help you stay in control of your studies, which can have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

When you begin your course, take some time to read through your course materials thoroughly and note down any important due dates in your calendar. A study plan can help you prepare for any assignments or tests, instead of being caught off guard and panicking if you forget a course requirement due to lack of preparation.

Much like organising your time, being thorough with your learning and writing down important points can help you minimise stress.

Whether you’re learning face-to-face or online, always take notes during classes – you won’t necessarily remember everything later on, and it could save you a headache down the line. It might also be helpful to create a comfortable study space at home where you know you won’t be distracted.

Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed if they’re struggling with their mental health and, as a result, keep that struggle to themselves.

The consequence is that they suffer in silence, and might even drop out of their studies because they’re struggling to keep their head above water.

And while your personal trainer might not be a mental health professional, they’re there to listen to any concerns or struggles you might have around your course – and help you work out a solution. You might also find it helpful to speak to a friend if you’re really struggling with your mental health, or even a doctor – there’s always someone to help.

The benefits of exercise and eating healthily are well documented – whether you’re studying or not!

Apart from keeping your body healthy and protecting your mental health, exercise can help you stay energetic and focused, while healthy snacks like nuts and vegetables can help fuel your brain with the power it needs to get through even the toughest of assignments.

Especially if your course delivery mode is entirely online it makes maintaining your relationships with your family, friends and community incredibly important to your mental wellbeing.

As such, make sure you devote some time each week to relaxing and having fun: plan a catch-up with friends, get involved in a group activity or volunteer in your local community. After all, life is all about balance!

Inspired to help people with mental health issues transform their lives for the better? Get in touch with us today to learn more about our Diploma of Mental Health or Certificate IV in Mental Health, which are aligned with skilled occupations in high demand across Western Australia.

Future Skills WA: How does it benefit you?

If you’ve never heard of the Future Skills WA scheme, listen up: it could completely change your career. Future Skills is the WA Government’s commitment to training more people in areas identified as being in high demand, both now and in the future.

It aims to equip Western Australians with skills and knowledge that align with state priorities – a direct response to the changing jobs outlook that’s being impacted by the growth and diversification of the state economy. And the WA Government has appointed TrainSmart Australia as an approved provider of the Future Skills WA program – which means we’re able to offer a range of government-funded courses to eligible students.

So, how can Future Skills WA actually benefit you?

First and foremost, it means your out-of-pocket expense is considerably lower thanks to the government’s contribution to your course fees. Each government-subsidised qualification has a fixed price that’s determined by the WA Government.

There’s also no upper age limit, and no restrictions based on your previous level of awarded qualification.

Additionally, the government doesn’t limit the number of training places it subsidises for courses that are considered a state priority. That means you’re guaranteed a spot, as long as we have available space and you meet the usual entry requirements.

And if you study at TrainSmart Australia, you’ll have the added benefits of dedicated trainer support, flexible learning options, nationally accredited courses, complementary career guidance, and much more.

We have a large range of courses that fall within the Future Skills WA program, including our Diploma of Community Services and Diploma of Counselling. So if you’re passionate about helping people change their lives and want to make difference in your community, they could be the perfect fit for you.

Now is the time to get skilled for the future – so what are you waiting for?
To find out more about how you can enrol in a government-subsidised course at TrainSmart Australia, get in touch with one of our career advisers NOW!

A beau-TEA-ful affair: Screen and Media students impress at the High Tea Party

TrainSmart Australia was pleased to be part of one of this country’s largest fundraising events, the High Tea which was held to raise money for the Cancer Council.

Our Screen and Media students—due to graduate in September—provided the make-up artist services for the runway models.   It was an incredibly exciting opportunity for them to get a taste of what life could be like after they graduate and launch their careers in the make-up industry. 

Presented by the Australian Women’s Weekly, the 2017 High Tea Party was held on August 5 and 6 at the luxurious Hyatt Regency Hotel on Adelaide Terrace. The event was established in 2006 and is now held annually in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. Some of the models represented on the catwalk at national events were cancer survivors.

Over two days hundreds of guests were treated to high tea served on Royal Albert tea wear, complimentary pamper stations, tastings, workshops, fashion parades and boutique market stall shopping.

Our students also offered free lipstick applications to anyone who visited our TrainSmart Australia stand.

We received some fantastic feedback from event organisers about the professionalism and skills of our students – and we could not be prouder of their achievements!


Students showcase their talents at Perth Hair and Make-Up Awards

Showcasing the cream of Perth’s hair and make-up industry, the Perth Hair and Make-up Awards held on July 30 were a huge success!

For the second consecutive year, the event brought together some of the city’s most talented and passionate make-up artists and hairdressers in one of the top competitions for aspiring theatrical make-up artists in Australia.

Organised by make-up artist Shelley Meyer, the event creates a unique platform for artists to harness their passion and talent to produce fantastic designs that captivate the imagination of the audience.

Held at the historic Perth Town Hall, the event also incorporated a pop-up bar and café, and free make-up demonstrations and applications.

Students from the TSA Diploma of Screen and Media course were also in attendance, displaying their talents to the hundreds of guests who gathered to view the creative designs.

One of our students Jacinta White, who’s nearing the end of her course, took out second place in the Student Beauty Make-up Competition. Jacinta was also selected to be the model for Screen and Media trainer Priscilla’s submission ‘Wax’ in the Avant Garde and Creative Make-up section.

Fellow trainer Shannon Murphy also submitted an entry in the same category, entitled ‘Is she hungry?’, and based her idea on a European drag queen. Her model was Chelsea Lawrence and her hair stylist was Loren Dempsey.

Guest lecturer at TrainSmart Australia Courtney Leigh Hollins created a unique, flamboyant Wonder Woman piece in the Face Art Category (see the picture above) —a timely design that coincided with the recent release of the Wonder Woman film.

The categories on the day were Student Makeup Artist Beauty Photographic Entry; Runway Trends; Festival Hair and Make-up; Creative Makeup and Avant Garde Hairstyling; and Face Art, with the incredible finale being the Body Art Glamazon Runway Show.

TrainSmart Australia was excited to exhibit at the event, spending the day speaking to people interested in pursuing a career in make-up and fashion. Our Diploma of Beauty Therapy and Diploma of Screen and Media are among our most popular courses—so if you’re creative, artistic and want to pursue a career with exciting prospects, contact us today to find out more.

What are the highest paying careers that don’t require a university degree?

A university degree was once the golden ticket to a high-paying, rewarding career.

How times have changed! Over the past few decades, university has become far more accessible, which has resulted in an oversupply of graduates – and ultimately reduced the value of a university education.

And that means uni degrees are no longer the be-all and end-all when it comes to getting a high-paying career – not by a long shot.

Illustrating this, the world’s largest job-search board Indeed recently released a list of the 22 highest paying jobs that typically don’t require a university degree.

However, many of these careers do call for vocational training, which can equip you with the practical skills and real-world experience needed to make you a very desirable candidate.

So without further ado, here’s just some of the highest paying jobs in Australia that you don’t need a uni degree for:

Managers – up to $229,000

It probably comes as little surprise that management is where you can really earn the big money. And in industries ranging from construction and farming to fitness and hospitality, the higher you go up the ladder, the stronger your earning power.

The good news is that excellent management skills often come from good, old-fashioned experience – and that’s something university theory can’t teach you.

Want to learn more? Check out the courses we offer in our TSA College of Business, Leadership and Management.

Pilot – up to $165,000

You might be surprised to learn that pilots don’t need a university degree.

Instead, they need to pass a series of exams regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and clock up at least 200 hours in the sky before they can obtain their commercial pilot’s licence.

And if they want to work for a passenger airline, there are even more rigorous requirements to land their air transport pilot’s licence – but still no university degree in sight.

Senior care worker – up to $132,000

Thanks in part to an ageing population and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the caring industries have experienced huge jobs growth in Australia in recent years, with aged care job vacancies more than doubling year-on-year.

And like any industry, managers always enjoy greater earning power. In fact, according to jobs board Adzuna, managerial roles in the aged care sector can even command up to $220,000.

Adzuna also reports that the number of managerial roles that offer six figures or more is rising. So if you’re compassionate, patient and have excellent leadership skills, this might be the career for you.

Find out more about how TrainSmart Australia can help you start your career in the community services industry.

Beauty consultant – up to $116,000

The role of a beauty consultant can be incredibly varied: they may help with the general running of a beauty salon, as well as providing assistance to beauticians, cosmetologists and hairdressers in the treatment of clients.

There are no formal requirements to become a beauty consultant – but a strong foundation of knowledge and experience gained from a top vocational course is invaluable when it comes to achieving that senior role.

Want to find out more about a career in beauty? Our TSA College of Beauty Therapy can help.

Bookkeeper – up to $101,000

Bookkeepers provide an essential service to many businesses, processing and recording transactions, establishing accounts, ensuring legal compliance and providing financial statements.

While bookkeepers differ from accountants, roles in this field are in high demand – and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

Find out more about how TrainSmart Australia can help you launch your career in bookkeeping and accounting.

4 reasons why you should join us at the 2017 Perth Hair and Makeup Artist Awards Expo

While you might not actively think about it, behind every talented movie star, television actor, pop star and model lies an equally talented make-up artist. From the special effects make-up you see in movies like Avatar to the high fashion looks sported by models in catwalk shows – and everything in between – make-up is a glamourous business that takes hard work and commitment.

But you don’t have to go all the way to Hollywood to find some the best make-up artists in the business. In fact, you can find them right here in Perth – at the 2017 Perth Hair and Make Up Artist Awards Expo.

Created and organised by make-up artist and hairdresser Shelley Meyer, the Perth Hair and Make Up Artist Awards Expo is the premier showcase of make-up artistry in the state.

On Sunday July 30, the best of the best of the Perth hair and make-up industry will come together at the Perth Town Hall to exhibit their incredible talent – and we’re going to be there, too!

So what’s it all about? Here’s four great reasons you should join us at this year’s Perth Hair and Makeup Artist Awards Expo:


See our talented trainers and students in action

Come and see our incredible trainers compete in the 2017 Perth Hair and Makeup Artist Awards!

Showcasing their skills and experience alongside Perth’s best, the incredibly talented Priscilla Walton and Shannon Murphy will be competing in the Avant Garde Hair and Creative Make-up category of the awards.

They’ll be available to chat if you’re keen to find out more about what they do and how you can get into the industry yourself. You can also catch some of our talented students from the TSA College of Creative Arts in action at the event.


Soak up the work of Perth’s best make-up artists

As part of the expo, Perth’s best hair and make-up artists will be competing against one another to take out top prize in a range of categories, including runway trends and avant garde hairstyling.

Their ‘blank canvasses’ will be some of Perth’s best models, who’ll show off their work in a professional catwalk show. This year also features a new body painting category, where talented make-up artists will be painting models head to toe – right before your eyes.


Learn more about our courses

As part of this exciting event, our TrainSmart career counsellors will be available to meet and chat with attendees.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about our CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media, as well as the make-up industry in general. It’s an invaluable opportunity to gain in-person career guidance, and it could be the beginning of an exciting new career in the field.

Come and find us at the TrainSmart Australia stand in the lower foyer – we’d love to say hello!


Enjoy the free beauty expo

The event will feature a range of hand-picked boutique beauty businesses, where you can learn about the latest in beauty treatments and products.

You can have your hair done by hairdressing students, see live make-up demonstrations and much more. On top of the free expo, there will be also a ticketed event held in the main hall which will feature runway shows, speakers, a VIP makeover lounge, and live hair and make-up exhibitions.

So come along and get a taste of the best of Perth’s hair and make-up industry – we’d love to see you there!

Welcome to flex-learning, where you study online and in the classroom

We’d like to introduce our students to the concept of flex-learning here at TrainSmart Australia which has huge benefits as it’s a mixture of face-to face teaching and online learning.

Three of our students who have just started their diplomas, are now spending a day every fortnight at our Sydney learning centre gaining more knowledge from lecturers in a classroom environment as part of this flex learning initiative.

Maddison Henson, Toni-Lea Buhagiav and Sally Cole are studying either the Diploma of Community Services and the Diploma of Counselling Services.  As some of the subject units overlap, they could be offered tutoring together. Trainer, Stuart Barrett says feedback has been really encouraging.

“The best thing about this flex learning is that students don’t feel isolated, they are able to interact with each other and bounce ideas off one another.  It is encouraging them to ask more questions and is really motivating them.”

All three students are undertaking the course through the Government’s Smart and Skilled program. This scheme means students can enrol on courses at a fraction of the usual cost because of financial subsidies.  Courses offered are those where there is deemed to be a lack of suitably qualified people in this type of industry already.

To find out more why not call TrainSmart Australia today?

Why a move back to Australia prompted Garry to return to study

Garry Law is proof that you are never too old to study. At the age of 50, he decided to sign up with TrainSmart Australia to study a Diploma of Leadership and Management after receiving several knockbacks in his job search.

“I’m an Australian Citizen, but had been living in Hong Kong with my wife and family for twenty years,” Garry said.

“I had a successful career as a surveyor and knew lots of people within the construction industry in Hong Kong, but that counted for nothing when you move countries. In Sydney, I found myself struggling to secure any job interviews.”

Garry applied for thirty positions and even though he had a BSc degree in surveying and many years’ experience under his belt, he didn’t get any responses to his job applications and was starting to feel frustrated.

“Job Active suggested that I might like to do a course. I said I’d be interested in leadership and management and that’s when they put me in touch with TrainSmart Australia,” Garry said.

“The course appealed to me as I could access a VET loan and fit study around a part-time job, which I managed to secure in a restaurant kitchen.”

It took Garry 18 months to complete that course. He had two mentors, David Bunney and Michael Phillips, who offered support and guidance throughout his learning journey.

“I spoke to them every Tuesday and then I would participate in webinars; we would do role playing and other students would be involved. It was a great way to make my learning experience more interactive,” explained Garry.

“These two trainers were able to offer me support and guidance whenever I needed it, it was reassuring to know that I could call on their help whenever I needed too.”

“Each unit would take around five weeks to complete and my personal favourite units were managing innovation, maintaining continuous improvement and the one on finances.”

Garry received his certificate a month ago and is now looking for his first position.

“Check that you can afford to do it financially as it takes time — and make sure you have the support of your family behind you,” he said.

“I’m looking for a position in management now, not necessarily within the construction industry. I’d be just as happy with a position in the retail sector.”

And as for studying when you’re more mature?

“My advice to anyone is to go for it, whatever your age. I found it easier as you are actually more disciplined. Age shouldn’t be a barrier.”

University compared to TAFE: Which is better?

It’s a common question many people starting a new career ask themselves: should I go university to do a degree, or enrol in TAFE for vocational training?

Vocational training is often perceived as a lesser alternative to university, relegated to those who didn’t receive high enough marks to get in.

However, according to a new report by the Skilling Australia Foundation (SAF), VET training in Australia offers students comparatively huge advantages over university – and not just for people with low marks.

So how do you know which one is right for you? Here’s some of the important differences between Uni and VET/TAFE courses:


According to some experts, universities don’t equip students with enough practical skills to succeed in their industries. In fact, two-thirds of students surveyed in the 2015 Future Leaders Index said they believe their degree didn’t adequately prepare them to find a job in their field.

And because of that, a 2014 Daily Telegraph article reports that a record number of people who already have postgraduate university qualifications are now ‘flooding’ VET/TAFE courses because their degrees didn’t give them enough practical skills to find employment.

The blistering pace of change in many industries also means many people graduate with university degrees that are outdated before they’ve even used them. But according to the SAF report, VET courses are much more dynamic and respond quickly to industry changes and trends, meaning students graduate much more job-ready.

Employment outcomes

Research conducted on behalf of SAF has found that graduates of TAFE and private vocational training colleges have better job prospects than university graduates, with 78% of VET graduates finding employment after training.

But for university students, job prospects have been steadily declining over the past few years. Research shows that between 2008 and 2014, the number of university graduates who secured full-time work dropped from 56.4 percent to 41.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the SAF report says the VET sector currently provides training courses for 9 out of 10 of the occupations predicted to have the strongest jobs growth over the next five years, included aged and disability carers and accountants.


According to SAF, people who’ve completed vocational training have higher starting salaries than their university counterparts.

In fact, on average, VET/TAFE graduates enjoy a starting salary of $56,000 – that’s almost $2,000 higher than the average starting salary of a university graduate.

Time and money

So considering the poor job prospects many university graduates face, it raises the question: is a university education worth the money? Undergraduate degrees can often cost $30,000 or more – and the cost just continues to go up.

On the other hand, VET/TAFE is far more accessible and cost-effective, with many courses also subsidised by government schemes and incentives – which means you pay less.

On top of the financial cost, the investment of time in a university course can be expensive, with the average undergraduate degree taking three years full-time to complete. Meanwhile, most VET courses range in duration from six months to two years – which means you’ll be able to kickstart your career sooner.

Want more information about the dynamic VET courses TrainSmart Australia offers? Our career advisors can guide you on the best course option for your goals and needs.

How to become a qualified make-up artist?

Most people follow a career path because they have a passion or interest in a certain area. That’s certainly true of make-up artists, who have a natural skill in using a bare face as a blank canvas on which to create a masterpiece.

It’s both satisfying and rewarding to alter someone’s appearance using modern cosmetics. By applying foundation, eye shadow, kohl, mascara, blusher and lipstick, an individual can be transformed into someone markedly different.

Anyone interested in becoming a make-up artist should consider studying a related course. They’d also be advised to practise their skills on family and friends, and think about working in retail on a make-up counter, so they can become more familiar with the latest products.

There are a range of courses on offer in Australia, including retail cosmetics, air-brushed make-up and specialist make-up. At TrainSmart Australia, we offer a Diploma of Screen and Media (Specialisation in Specialist Make-Up Services) under the TSA College of Creative Arts. Head of Department is Priscilla Walton.

artistic make-up

“This course is very popular as it is practical and you learn so much about dramatic make-up, from liquid latex to wigs and special effects,” Priscilla explains.

“Students use these skills outside of the studio so they get real-life experience. We have done the make-up for a local theatre group and for our own events, including a Halloween themed pop-up show in Fremantle.”

“I myself studied make-up artistry at what is now the Australian College of Make-Up and Special Effects (ACMUSE). I learnt a whole range of artistic skills including airbrushing and wigs. I went on to work for the Cameron Mackintosh Broadway musical ‘Miss Saigon’ and at Fox Studios in Sydney.  Studying our course really does open doors for future work opportunities in this area,” said Priscilla.

Courtney Hollins, a guest lecturer, has branched out into body art make-up.

qualified make-up artist“I am a fully trained specialist make-up artist, which means I can work in the theatre, television and movies applying make up to actors and actresses,” Courtney says.

“But my passion is body art, which is slightly different. I have won some top international awards in this area. It’s exciting because it’s personal and visually stunning.”

If you want to whet your appetite and find out whether make-up artistry is for you, you could always consider a Diploma of Beauty Therapy, which will give you a broad introduction to make-up. This is also offered here under the TSA College of Beauty Therapy. Cheryl Taylor is the Head of the Department and has more than twenty-five years’ experience.

“I studied a beauty course which covered elements of make-up artistry. A general beauty course is a great way of deciding whether make-up is for you, and if it is then you can undertake a more specialised course,” Cheryl says.

“There’s a skill in picking up a brush and making someone look stunning. For example, not everyone can make a bride look beautiful on the most important day of her life, but with a bit of training and some natural ability there’s potential to excel within make-up. It’s a very exciting industry.”

If you’d like to find out more about our Diploma of Beauty Therapy and Diploma of Screen and Media , why not speak to one of our trained career advisors today? They can offer guidance and advice as to whether either course would be suitable for your needs.

What are the top IT skills an employer wants?

Believe it or not, the internet has only been around since the late 1980s. Its invention means there’s a wealth of information to be found online, which almost all of us access every day.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace with new job titles and descriptions emerging on a weekly basis.  Unemployment rates in the IT industry are at historic lows. But what are the top IT skills employers like the most, and what will help you to secure a new role with a rewarding salary?

Technical Support

All companies and organisations rely on technology to keep their operations running successfully. IT forms the backbone of any good business structure – that’s why a general all round person who can offer a broad variety of technical support will be in demand.

Many employees have not grown up with the internet and struggle with general computer skills, so anyone who can offer support will be greatly appreciated. Growing companies have ever-expanding technology needs and if you can communicate well and are people-led, this could be the career choice for you.

Network Administrators

There’s also a strong demand for network configurators who can look after whole systems and ensure they are maintained and well-run. Looking at all the components of a computer network and when it needs modification or upgrading, an IT networker will determine the best course of action to take.

Network administrators and network engineers are involved in analysing, designing, installing and configuring network infrastructures to ensure they meet company requirements. They will look at both software and hardware processes to achieve specific tasks.

Programming Specialists

Technology may touch everyone’s lives, but it’s programmers and developers who write software programs. They manipulate the program designs made by software developers into a language a computer can understand and follow.

Often working alongside software developers, programmers will look at the design, writing and testing to come up with a code a computer can understand.

Everything is becoming more technology-focused – think of all the modern cars that have computerised systems on board. That’s precisely why programming specialists will be in great demand in the future.

Software Developers

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. They develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks and oversee development processes. Some may also develop underlying systems that run devices or control networks.

Software developers need to understand the core function of the software program. They are at the sharp end of coming up with solutions and, as such, will always be sought after in the foreseeable future.

Information technology is here to stay and the above positions attract some of the best salaries, so why not investigate the courses on offer with the TSA College of Information and Communications Technology to explore your future career options?

6 ways to help your community

Community is a label given to a group of people with something in common, whether it is a shared location, agenda or values.  In fact, you may be a member of many different types of communities at any one time.

We have a choice whether we are active members of these communities or if we prefer being observers, by standers in this collective. Being an active member of those communities relies on a level of involvement or action.  There are those types of people that we describe as “good community people”, there are those that speak out when their community is treated negatively but don’t actively partake in action.  There are those people that have no interest in being part of any community.  Interestingly, this in itself means you are part of a community.

Why do we feel a sense of community?  Human beings typically rely on social interaction to derive a sense of belonging, we as a species thrive through connection and something in common with another.   We like to feel a sense that we are not alone.  It helps us feel supported, “normal” and active participants in our own lives.

There are many benefits to feeling this sense of belonging, this connection to others similar to ourselves.  We build a support network, joining others with a shared passion or position on a particular social theme. Being connected to others creates friendships, provides opportunity for our own gains and in many cases leads to a positive emotional response on some level.

How often have you felt pride, respect or admiration when seeing a group of people working together to achieve something positive?  This ranges from legal class actions righting a wrong, standing up for what’s fair to speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.  There is a sense of justice, achievement and purpose. Being part of something bigger than ourselves provides a personal growth experience that is hard to put a value on.

Being a member of a group or community working towards a shared goal to achieve a positive outcome is one of the most uplifting and rewarding experiences of our lives… and often costs us nothing but our time and effort.

From a professional perspective, engaging in community activity helps you build a career profile that most employers are keen to have join their team.  You show yourself to be a valued member of a community and employers want this type of personality in their work force.  You can build networks that lead to further job opportunities. How many times do we take the recommendation of someone we trust? We find mechanics, hairdressers, builders in this manner all the time.  It works in the same way for community services.  You start participating in your local community, you hear that a local centre needs volunteers, this leads to professional networking, reputation building and the next time a paid employment opportunity presents itself you have already laid a solid base as to who you are and established a rapport with the decision makers.

Consider the communities that you may be part of – a sporting group, a work team, a family member, a charity organisation, or a club.  Why are you part of that community? What do you feel when you are connected to this group?  There are so many ways in which we can create this positive feeling, and it can start from the smallest of actions.

Check out the following ideas for ways to help your community in the midst of your everyday activities.

  1. Shop with locally owned businesses, saving time and money. Many locally owned businesses offer services and products that you need regularly, why travel to get what you need when you have many of these business at your doorstep. It keeps the local community thriving by keeping the money within, supporting growth an opportunity.
  2. Attend a local festival or other event. Many have free admission and activities. Many festivals are actually fundraisers for non-profit organisations and you may be surprised at how much you learn about who and what is in your local area.
  3. Take left over dinner to an elderly neighbour. If you have a family of four, cook enough dinner for five one night and deliver a plate to the widow next door. Your delivery helps you to get to know your neighbours better, police promote knowing your neighbours as the best way to fight neighbourhood crime.  How nice to have that feeling of making someone else feel valued.
  4. Look for opportunities to give in your community. Many schools collect items, such as like canned foods, toys and clothing for less fortunate families. Donating loose change may not necessarily negatively impact your budget, but knowing that you have just helped someone achieve their dream is priceless.
  5. Get involved as a volunteer. There are plenty of opportunities out there if you look out for them. Most states in Australia have websites that list all the volunteer opportunities available in your local area and wider afield.  Consider for Australia wide opportunities, you can select the areas that you would be interested in and search for that common interest that provides the feel good moments.
  6. Our Diploma of Community Services and Diploma of Mental Health Online have been designed to give you the right skills and knowledge to work with people experiencing mental and psychological issues, and assist them in seeking solutions to a range of problems.

Whether you are looking for a way in to the Community Services sector or just feeling the urge to connect with likeminded people, taking some steps towards action is always beneficial.  Tune it to the type of community member you are and make a decision on what level of action you might be willing to take.  You may just be surprised at how it makes you feel.

Megan Bird

How do I choose a college to study an online course?

We are living in a world where we are faced with choices every day. It’s nearly impossible to say how many decisions we make day-to-day but a Google search shows that an adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions over a 24-hour period, while a child makes only about 3,000.

Your brain makes dozens of decisions every single second through chemical reactions. Decisions are made based on brain development, experiences, and activity and can include a multitude of choices about:

Each choice carries certain consequences – good and bad.

The problem is that when we make choices, there is inevitably someone who will want to add their advice to a prospective choice which can make it harder to reach a final decision.

Here are some simple steps when thinking about choosing a college or course online and planning your career:

Choosing the right college is probably one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so choose carefully and wisely.  Remember your career choice should make you happy until you retire.  Retirement age is creeping up higher and higher, so think carefully before you make your final decision.

Remember there are three things you can’t recover in life, the word after it’s said, the moment after it’s missed, and the time after it’s gone. That’s why you need to make a well thought out informed decision. Our career officers will be happy to give you free career advice online.

Gerhard Kock

What work opportunities are there in the beauty therapy industry?

Do you enjoy using your creative skills, meeting new people and making them feel fabulous? Imagine, being a qualified beauty therapist and having the opportunity to


Career pathways

If you study beauty therapy, there are many career pathways within this industry.  By studying a broad qualification which encompasses different areas, numerous roles are open to you.

You can become a beauty therapist, skin therapist, day spa manager, salon manager, nail technician, makeup artist, massage therapist, mobile therapist, receptionist, salon owner, cosmetic counter consultant, and even run your own beauty business from your own home salon.  It’s a flexible role and you can work as much, or as little as you like.

There’s the option to be full time, part time, casual or contracted. This career path means it can work well around your family and children and fit in with other commitments.

As a beauty therapist you will perform facial, body and nail treatments including reflexology, massages, advanced facials and aromatherapy. Waxing is another treatment, especially in the summer months and incorporates the removal of facial or body hair.  Lash and brow treatments which include eyebrow shape, tint and lash lifts have become popular in recent years.


Connecting with your clients

Women like to feel involved and as a beauty therapist, when you are applying make-up, you will be able to advise clients on the selection of products available and what colours suit their skin and the way it should be applied.  There’s also the opportunity to sell these products to clients so they can use them at home.

Every beauty therapist can build a rapport with each client, and it’s this relationship which can build over time and make the job more rewarding and satisfying.

If you decide to work in a salon, then you can expect a regular income and can learn from others who work alongside yourself.  These colleagues can have many years’ experience which means they can pass on their skills having mastered certain techniques.

Working in a salon, gives you the opportunity to progress within that organisation.  You may want to obtain a more senior role and there are always opportunities for promotion.  You can work up from a beauty therapist to a senior therapist to a managerial position.


Getting started with a traineeship

Beauty salons and organisations also offer traineeships which is a great way of starting out in this industry.  A good traineeship is worth its weight in gold as you will gain invaluable knowledge and receive hands on experience, while studying at the same time.  To succeed, you must have the drive, passion and commitment.  For those who are prepared to learn and embrace the industry, there is plenty of job satisfaction and career prospects.

TrainSmart Australia offers a variety of courses including the Diploma of Beauty Therapy in Perth and Online. Our trainers have extensive experience in the beauty business, so why not give us a call today to find out more on 1300 855 517

What does a beauty therapist do?

A beauty therapist specialises in beauty treatments for the face and body and is responsible for helping clients make the most of their physical appearance.  These treatments help clients feel more confident about themselves and less stressed.

What makes a good beauty therapist?

Being a fantastic beauty therapist involves far more than being able to simply administer beauty treatments and interact with clients. They must be able to portray the following qualities;

What sort of treatments will a beauty therapist administer?

The range of treatments and services a therapist can provide varies hugely, depending on training and experience. Most common services offered by a beauty therapist are:

A therapist has a duty to keep all equipment clean (to maintain high standards of hygiene) and make sure it is in working order (to ensure procedures are successful and prevent injury to staff and clients). They also need to manage stock, replenishing products when necessary. A junior therapist working in a salon might also be required to greet clients, answer the telephone, make bookings, serve tea or coffee and fulfil other reception duties.

If you are creative and like making people look and feel good, then a course in our TSA College of Beauty Therapy in Perth may be for you. 

Renee Kelly – Beauty trainer – TrainSmart Australia

What is the best course to study for the future?

The way we live is changing. And as the world evolves, so do career paths and job descriptions. But while it’s important you choose to pursue a career you’re passionate about, it’s also critical to know whether your future role will be in demand in years to come. Imagine investing a lot of time and money into a course, only to find you can’t get a job as a result?

It’s an unfortunate reality for many people. That’s because many jobs and industries are shrinking – and many have disappeared altogether. Librarians, newspaper reporters and travel agent roles have all been on a steady decline in recent years. And it’s estimated we’ll see a reduction of around 28% in postmen over the coming decade as more people send emails rather than letters.

Beyond this, the path you take to reach your career of choice can also have a huge impact on what transpires after you graduate. Research conducted on behalf of the Skilling Australia Foundation has found that graduates of TAFE and private vocational training colleges have better job prospects and higher starting salaries than university graduates.

Experts say this is because VET providers equip students with the practical skills that prepare people for the real world better than university courses do – and these skills are absolutely critical to employers.

So to guarantee the best chance of securing a well-paid, long-term position in a sustainable industry, you need to be careful about selecting the right course to land that future job.

Careers in demand



Thanks to a number of factors like declining birth rates and improved health care conditions that mean longer life expectancy, Australia’s population is ageing. In fact, there are more people over the age of 65 than children under 16 – and the number of older Australians is expected to grow even higher, from around 3.5 million in 2014 to 6.2 million in 2042.

As a result, there are hundreds of thousands of new jobs being created in the aged care sector. The government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme reform is also stimulating significant jobs growth in this sector. Aged care, community services and mental health are areas which will all see substantial growth over the next few decades.



The health charity Sane says at least 20% of Australian adults are affected by mental illness every year, with the most common disorder being anxiety followed by depression. Further, 45% of Australians are expected to experience a mental illness during their lives. This means there’s an increasing need for health specialist and counsellors – one that is only expected to grow into the future.

If you want a career in the caring profession helping to address these issues, you may want to study for either a Diploma of Community Services, Diploma of Mental health or Diploma of Counselling.



In any 12-month period, 5% of Australians will experience a substance abuse disorder, with men twice as likely to do so than women. Methamphetamine use – including crystal meth and ice – has tripled in the past five years, and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation says prescription drug abuse is Australia’s fastest growing drug problem.

That means the need for specialists to help treat people caught in the spiral of addiction is high. In fact, jobsearch site Seek reports there will be almost 20% more workers employed in this field in 2020 than there were in 2015.

If you would like to help people experiencing drug and alcohol issues, you might want to study Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs.



Technology is transforming at a dramatic place. The world relies heavily on digital technologies to run smoothly, computers have become an integral part of everyday life, and the internet is ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives.

What does this mean? There’s a greater demand than ever before for IT specialists, with many companies finding they are unable to find enough people with technology skills to fill their vacancies. Software and web developers, along with general IT managers, are all expected to grow in demand.



The face of accountancy is changing. The industry is now heavily regulated and, as such, more people are needed within this profession. In fact, the Australian Government’s Job Outlook initiative reports that in the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for accountants is expected to be high, while the average proportion of jobs available at any one time is higher than average.

That’s partly because the accounting industry has seen a dramatic shift in practices and procedures. The rise of online cloud software is freeing accountants up to spend more time with clients.  Every business needs an accountant who can help with tax queries and balance the books.


Want to make sure the career you’re studying for offers strong job prospects and an excellent salary? Take at look at these careers mentioned – they’re all expected to experience growth over the coming years.

Need more information? Speak to one of our TrainSmart Australia career advisors. They can offer advice and support to ensure you study the right course to land you the career you’ve always wanted – both now and in the future.


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