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An Albury mum who made an unlikely career switch from groceries to aged care has urged locals to “keep an open mind” about a new professional path.
After moving from Melbourne to Howlong 12 months ago and with the COVID pandemic radically altering the jobs market, Tracey Senior decided to leave her administration job of 21 years at Woolworths to enrol in an aged care course at TAFE NSW Albury.
Her gamble paid off when Ms Senior was offered a job at UPA Oolong Hostel in Howlong while still completing her Certificate III in Individual Support at TAFE NSW.
“I’ve always liked helping others and I just had this yearning to do something more meaningful,” Ms Senior said.
“I’m so glad I made the move. I love the work and it’s an amazing feeling to be able to make a difference in a vulnerable person’s life.
“I’ve finally found my calling.”
The recent Productivity Commission Inquiry Report found by 2050, more than 3.5 million Australians would be using aged care services and to cater for the growth, the workforce would need to quadruple to nearly a million workers.
TAFE NSW Albury aged care teacher Rachel Hodges said the industry offered the rare combination of job security and satisfaction.
“The local industry is awash with jobs at the moment and if you love helping people, it can be the perfect profession,” Ms Hodges said.
“You really are making a difference in a person’s life and helping older people retain dignity as they age.
“And so many of our TAFE NSW Albury graduates walk straight into jobs.”
Ms Senior said her TAFE NSW teachers had great industry contacts and experience, and did everything they could to help her thrive in the course.
“They really were amazing; you could ask them anything and they would help,” Ms Senior said.
“Once you’ve done this course, you’ll have a job for life.”
To find out more about studying aged care at TAFE NSW Albury, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist