WITH employment opportunities in the aged care industry expected to grow strongly over the next five years, there is no better time for Muswellbrook job seekers to consider a rewarding career that involves caring and providing quality of life for the ageing population.
According to Australian Government Jobs Outlook data, the number of aged and disabled carers in Australia is expected to increase by 39 per cent by 2023, providing about 179,000 job openings over this time.
Muswellbrook resident Tracey Brown is taking full advantage of new employment opportunities in the aged care industry - turning to TAFE NSW to get the qualifications she needs.
After working as a domestic assistant for two-and-a-half years, she chose to make the switch to aged care by studying a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) online with TAFE Digital.
She is now employed by TransCare, who provides in-home services for the growing aged population.
"I wanted to become more educated about my work and was happy to undertake online studies while I was already working in the aged sector," Ms Brown said.
"On graduating, I was able to secure permanent, part-time personal care and domestic work with TransCare.
"I get a real kick out of seeing my ageing clients enjoy life and love motivating them to socialise, while ensuring that their homes are warm and welcoming.
"I also encourage them to go to exercise classes and even have clients in their 90s who take cruises and play golf and croquet."
Ms Brown enjoyed the flexibility of studying online, so that she could study at her own pace while working.
She added the teachers were incredibly supportive of her overcoming a lack of confidence.
"I was particularly interested in the dementia and palliative care units and enjoyed the 120 hours of practical experience I gained at Calvary Muswellbrook Retirement Community," Ms Brown said.
McCrindle research suggests that in the next 30 years there will be 1.2 million more people aged 85, and older, than there are today.
The average older Australian will live five years longer, which equates to adding 6 million more years of care just for the increased number of people over 85 and to manage their increased life expectancy.
To find out more about TAFE Digital's hundreds of online courses across a range of modern industries, visit https://www.tafensw.edu.au/digital