ExcelAir, the simulated business at TAFE NSW – Western Institute Orange campus, is celebrating its tenth year of operation this year.
Jenelle Frewin, a Teacher of Business Administration who has been involved with the practice firm for the last three years, says they are pleased to celebrate a long history of providing hands on experience in business and administration that students would otherwise find hard to obtain.
“It’s a different learning environment to a traditional classroom which allows the students to learn about office skills, working unsupervised, communication, teamwork and generally learning by participating in the simulation” she says.
According to Jenelle the process is very effective at preparing students for the workforce because they work in an office environment which resembles what they will encounter in the workforce, including working in various business related roles in the firm.
The students work in defined positions in the practice firm including finance, accounting, purchasing, sales, reception, marketing and human resources.
ExcelAir was the first practice firm to start operation within Western Institute establishing a business which revolves around a travel and tourism environment with the participants organising virtual hire cars, selling flights, holiday packages and souvenirs and booking holidays.
Since the firm in Orange commenced the concept has been extended to eight other campuses within the region including at Dunedoo where the operation is organised as a sub-branch of the Orange business.
Jenelle says that participation in the practice firm is ideal for anyone who wants to get a background in administration and find related employment.
Participation in ExcelAir is built into the curriculum for students completing the Certificate II and Certificate III in Business Administration and Medical Administration.
To help ensure strong relevance to industry each practice firm has an industry partner. The firm in Orange is allied with REX Airlines, and in former years was supported by Hazelton Airlines.
There are more than 130 practice firms in Australia who trade with each other as they learn about business principles. The initiative also has international connections with 4000 firms trading in Europe, America, Asia and Africa.