From banking to building

Employment in the construction industry is forecast to grow, with 1.3 million workers expected to work in the industry by 2024, an increase  of around 17 per cent.

One local taking advantage of the growth is Bellevue Hill resident Ken Ng, who left a 25-year banking career to start a business in building  design, using the qualifications he gained at TAFE NSW. His new-found skills combined with the growth in construction have resulted in  some business success in a short time.

“My love for architecture and design had always been there. Whilst I could draw famous buildings and describe different architectural styles,  I didn’t have the technical or practical experience of how to apply building code, work with council, or translate those drawings into  construction plans. Those are things you can’t learn from reading magazines or watching videos.”

“I undertook a TAFE course which put all the operational aspects of building design into practice. We worked through the design life cycle of  a building project, trying our hand at costing, applying building code, working through concepts. It gave me an understanding of what  decisions I could make within my designer’s scope.”

Before he started the course, Ken, and his wife renovated their house. “Working on my own house meant processes such as writing an  environmental report, contributing to site plans, and understanding building materials were fresh in my mind. So, the course more-or-less  formalised my knowledge in those areas.”

Since gaining his qualification, Ken has completed a small interior design project in Epping, and is working on reconfiguring a house in  Paddington, a renovation in Melbourne and a pavilion extension on a property in the Southern Highlands.

TAFE NSW Teacher David Russell-Jones said Ken’s experience was a good example of being able to give a student the information they need  to achieve their career goal, at a pace that allows them to fit their study in with their life.

“As teachers, it makes us proud to see students like Ken building up a new career they love with the help of TAFE NSW,” Mr Russell-Jones  said.

Keep an eye out for Ken on a construction site near you!