It is 4.30pm at one of VMCH’s supported co-living houses and it is all hands on deck to get dinner for the night prepped and cooked. Tonight, it is lasagne. There is also the important work of making individual lunches for the next day. Some residents will be off to work, day programs or other activities early the next morning.
The five residents and their support team have student Angela helping this evening as part of her work placement to gain a Certificate Four in Disability Support.
This is her first week and she feels work experience has already given her confidence and a great insight into what life would be like working in disability services.
“The first day I walked in I admit that I felt nervous and not sure. But now I can say that I have more confidence to manage. I know what I have to do because of the direction I get from the staff and from watching them,” she said.
Never too late for a career change
Angela has already finished attending classes her TAFE course and needs to complete 120-hours workplace to gain her certificate and become a qualified disability support worker.
Angela previously worked in human services. She wanted to move away from office work and into a job that offered more flexibility for the working mum with a young family.
“I think I’m going to enjoy it. I know it’s not always going to be easy. I’m ready to take it on. The placement gives me some knowledge, experience and confidence that yes, maybe I can do this. That’s important – that confidence to say yes I can do this.”
Work placements like this are an important part of building a highly trained and skilled workforce to support the big goals of the NDIS.
Massive job growth needed for NDIS success
An extra 90,000 workers will be required nationally as spending on disability support almost quadruples because of the NDIS. One in every five jobs created in Australia will be in the disability sector.