Study lays firm foundation

BEN Cheatham is now a step closer to fulfilling his dream of running his own landscaping business.

The 22-year-old Green Valley resident recently graduated from the Liverpool-based Aspire College of Education with a diploma of business.

He said the qualification has given him the skills he will need to start his own company.

"It's given me an understanding of how a business runs and all the skills I will need," Mr Cheatham said.

He said he heard about the diploma after being unemployed for nine months.

"I lost my job at a bar and I wasn't sure what to do next," he said. "Completing the diploma has given me a lot of confidence and I really feel like I can make the business happen now.

"I've always wanted to be my own boss, and my business will focus on gardening, mowing and tree-lopping.

"I'm really looking forward to it because I've always loved nature and being outside, so it's perfect for me."

Lani Suluape, an administrator at the college said it provided training for people of all ages who have been struggling to establish themselves in life.

"Many of the people who come to us have been unemployed for a long time, have struggled with addictions or been homeless and this college gives them an opportunity to get qualifications to get the skills they need for work," Ms Suluape said.

"More than 90 per cent of our students have started off life in a tough environment and their confidence is quite low.

"This course really raises their self-esteem and makes them feel much better about themselves."

The most recent intake of the six-month course graduated in Parramatta last month.

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