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Job opportunities flourish in disability sector

Photo: Job opportunities flourish in disability sector
TAFE NSW research has found that of all the occupations across the Central Coast to Far North Coast region, ‘Aged or Disabled Carer’ is forecast to experience the highest growth in jobs to 2021.

Over this time, more than 4,300 additional people are forecast to be employed as aged or disabled carers in NSW - an increase of over 10%.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business echoes this favourable perspective, with it predicting ‘very strong growth’ in the number of workers over the next five years*.

Central Coast resident Branwen Gillen is excited about the possibilities and today, after four months into a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at TAFE NSW Gosford, she is embarking on her disabled support career in a practical sense.

This morning she begun a 120-hour work placement with House with No Steps and said she is ready to be one of many TAFE NSW students who will assist in filling the sector’s skills shortage.
“In looking around to change professions I quickly discovered this was something I wanted to pursue. It’s a big growth sector with a lot of jobs around; I kept seeing them pop up and knew I was on the right path,” Ms Gillen said.

“I have a real affinity for it. My TAFE NSW studies have been excellent and the teachers are lovely. The course work has been great, very focused on ethics and how to apply the ethical standards we need to meet in the industry.

“I am really looking forward to applying the hands-on training I‘ve received to my work placement at House with No Steps. It’s a good, meaningful profession, helping people. Through providing individual support, disability carers help people within the community to thrive. I feel so pleased about entering this sector.

“A lot of disabled people can be socially isolated. We help get them out in to the world, empowering them to have some fun and perhaps even head into the workplace, depending on the level of support they need. And of course, there is often the basics such as assisting with feeding and cleaning, which can be just as rewarding.

“After several weeks I will finish work placement and am very confident I will get a job. The sector is desperate for new workers. From what I understand only a small portion of the many tens of thousands of jobs needed in the disability sector will be filled this year. Australia really needs a big influx of disability support workers.

House with No Steps Area Manager, Central Coast/Lake Macquarie, Giovanna Kozary agrees.

“We have nearly 5000 committed staff – they are the heart and soul of our organisation. We’re big on providing our staff with more than just jobs. We’re here to provide them with clear career paths, and high quality training is an important part of that,” Ms Kozary said.

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