18 May 2017
The need to future proof any business is real. As industry’s continue to evolve and develop, so does their wants and needs. Possessing the ability to respond to change quickly and effectively is paramount to a business staying ‘current’ and successful. According to Steve Howard the key to maximising opportunities is having the right people in the right positions, “highly trained staff with skills, knowledge and experience is an asset to any business – no matter the industry – and it’s my job to help businesses breed success.”
Steve is a Business Development Officer at TAFE Queensland East Coast and, while based at our Bundaberg campus, works throughout the entire Wide Bay region to help link businesses with the latest in learning and training innovation. He reflects on his journey into Business Development, and what helping business’ means to him.
This is his story:
I love my job. I love engaging with business and industry; getting to know a business, identifying specific needs and creating training opportunities to improve business efficiencies and productivity. Why do I do it? Simple, I love helping business owners and managers build and grow their business through tailored training programs and solutions.
I have extensive experience in Employment Services and Senior Retail Management throughout Queensland. I’ve worked at senior management levels in some of Australia’s most well-known brands including Woolworths and Big W; and operated a large corporation whereby I successfully managed a $2.5M wages budget and led multiple managers and over 150 employees to reach annual sales targets of around $27M. I have an intimate understanding of the vital role training and education plays in creating a successful business. In 2012, I relocated with my family to Bundaberg from Brisbane to undertake a role as Manager of Mission Australia prior to starting at TAFE in 2015.
I pride myself on effectively assessing a business’ requirements and either finding existing training programs or creating unique learning solutions to effectively meet those needs. With over 23 years of experience in industry, I understand a lot of the issues businesses regularly face – I’ve undoubtedly encountered similar issues over the years. Businesses must remain ‘current’ to outgun competition and increase market share; that means either employing skilled workers or upskilling current staff to successfully impact strategic areas of the business.
For example, I am currently working with a large health care provider to help upskill their management team. Once completed, staff will receive a Diploma in Leadership and Management. What’s so unique about this partnership is that we’re working closely with this organisation to tailor this program so it’s targeted to their needs and has a ‘flavour’ that is specific to their business and embeds their policies, procedures and culture at the core of our training delivery.
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family and renovating the house. I pride myself on being able to do most of the work; transforming a dilapidated old beach shack into a beautiful Bargara residence. I also have a boat that I like to try and take out every now and then, but of late it’s been more of a ‘large pot plant’ that I have to move from time-to-time to mow the lawn.
I truly believe we’re lucky to live in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places along the eastern coastal seaboard. Bundaberg, in fact the whole East Coast region, is the perfect place to form friendships, foster your family and build a business.