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TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga has helped a local woman find her calling for disability care.
A Wagga mum has credited a TAFE NSW course with changing the course of her life by helping her secure three jobs in the booming field of disability support.
Harpreet Mehrok arrived from India 15 years ago with no formal qualifications and worked in a series of nanny jobs before eyeing a more secure career in disability support.
The disability sector is in the midst of an NDIS-fuelled jobs boom, with an estimated national shortage of about 120,000 disability support workers.
Mrs Mehrok said the prospect of a caring role with almost-guaranteed employment prompted her to enroll in a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga in 2021. Within weeks of graduating, she had landed three disability support jobs – with Northcott, Right at Home and a private NDIS provider.
She said the fact the course was delivered by virtual classroom was a “blessing”, allowing her the flexibility of studying from home with her infant children.
“As a mum, it was so much easier not to have to find a babysitter for the children while I studied,” Mrs Mehrok said. “This opportunity has really changed my life and I can see how many skills and how much personal growth it has given me. I used to be scared if I was moving to a new place but with this qualification, I now know I can support myself and my family.”
She said the work was also personally rewarding, supporting clients to live more independently in their homes.
“The course was very practical and detailed, and really prepared me to work in the industry straight away,” Mrs Mehrok said. “What they teach you is very person-centred and strength-based, which was very helpful.”
TAFE NSW Disability Teacher Simone Stuart said Mrs Mehrok was one of countless examples of TAFE NSW disability graduates walking straight into paid work.
“Most of the group actually got a job before graduating and it’s one of those industries where if you want a job, you will get one,” Ms Stuart said.
“TAFE NSW really does give its students the practical skills and work experience to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.”
A Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and Certificate IV in Disability will be offered at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga for semester two, commencing this month.
To explore the range of courses available at TAFE NSW and via TAFE Digital, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601 for more information
Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, mobile 0477 722 428