After working 33 years at a goldmine in Stawell, Kevin was retrenched and looking for new opportunities.
Now he works as a disability support worker for VMCH in Victoria’s Central Highlands and he is enjoying his career change.
“The job is different. That’s what I enjoy about it. I get to see the sunshine, do stuff outdoors in the fresh air. Every day can be different.”
There has never been a better time to work in disability services because of the job opportunities that the NDIS has created.
It is estimated that one in every five new jobs created in Australia will be in the disability support sector.
Kevin (pictured, right, with one of his clients) works three days a week supporting clients with a range of needs and interests. His day could include helping people go to the gym, the library, shopping and other social activities. He is also studying a Certificate IV in Aged Care and Disability Services.
“It’s nice to catch up with clients and see the benefits of what they’re getting out of what we’re doing. It’s very rewarding.”
As Kevin’s experience shows, people can come into the disability support sector from a wide variety of backgrounds.
A qualification, like previous experience or training, is always an advantage when entering the job market in disability services.
However, larger organisations, like VMCH, can provide comprehensive on-the-job training for the right candidates. Many people can enter the sector this way to get an understanding of what is involved in working in disability services. They can then improve their chances of career development by studying while they are working in the industry.
Katarina’s experience is similar to Kevin’s. When the Australian clothing industry moved jobs overseas, she went from having a great job in the underwear manufacturing sector to an uncertain future.
A friend then advised her that retraining in the health sector would give her job security. She says it has given her that and a lot more.
She trained for a Certificate IV in Disability and received other qualifications in health services. Now she works as a residential disability support worker at one of VMCH’s children respite services in Melbourne.
“It was the best advice I have ever been given … I am really enjoying working with people and helping them to achieve their goals – it’s a very rewarding career,” she said.
Katarina says a typical day involves providing personal, physical and emotional support to the children who spend time at VMCH’s overnight respite services. She also performs household tasks, such as preparing meals, laundry, shopping and cleaning.
“I did wonder prior to starting to work in the disability support sector, if this would be for me – I had never had any experience working with people with a disability. But ever since I started work in the disability sector I have loved the work,” she said.
Free training opportunities in disability
In 2018 TAFE courses in disability were included in a list of 50 courses that would be offered to eligible students for free. This is part of a Federal Government push to encourage people to work in high job growth sectors.
Here are two courses that are included in this initiative.
Certificate III in Individual Support:
- TAFE course
- Course duration starts at 12 weeks and depends on institution
- Students learn skills to work in disability support or community care
- Courses include work placement opportunities
Certificate IV in Disability:
- TAFE course
- Course duration is about six months depending on provider
- Students gain training to work with people in their home, community, respite or education services
- Includes supervised work placement
A career with VMCH:
A career at VMCH means you are part of a team committed to making a difference and supporting people in the community.
Our support services aim to enhance the opportunities for children, adults and seniors with a disability, their families and carers by engaging them through inclusion in the community.
Learn more about working for VMCH on our careers page: https://vmch.com.au/careers/