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A West Wyalong childcare worker has encouraged others to consider a “career in caring” amid newly released figures revealing a skills shortage in the local industry.
According to the TAFE NSW Jobs of the Future report, childcare is predicted to be the fastest growing profession in the Riverina between now and 2021, with job openings expected to increase 15.6 per cent in an industry already in the midst of a skills shortage.
Sinead Brewer, 24, completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW West Wyalong when she was 16 and was offered a traineeship within months of starting the course at local centre Little Wattle.
She has since been promoted to pre-school educator at Little Wattle and has gone on to complete a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW.
She urged others to consider a career in an industry where jobs are abundant and the work is “extremely rewarding”.
“I would recommend it to anyone who wants a rewarding, challenging job and one you can be passionate about,” she said.
“Ultimately, you’re helping children learn and grow, you’re shaping their future. There are children starting school this year that I had as babies and it’s amazing to watch them progress.”
Ms Brewer, who admits she didn’t adapt well to the high school environment, said the thrived in the more adult learning environment of TAFE NSW.
“TAFE NSW offers a far more flexible and warm environment than high school,” she said. “The teachers all have great industry experience and you just feel like you belong there.”
Little Wattle owner La’shey Cattle said TAFE NSW was an ideal training ground for childcare educators.
“I completed my training with TAFE NSW and it was fantastic,” Ms Cattle said. “The graduates I’ve hired from TAFE NSW are always job-ready and really well prepared and the teaching is fantastic.
“It really is such a rewarding job. You develop such a close bond with the children and their families and to see a child reach a milestone, like write their name for the first time, is indescribable.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Community Services and Health, Diane Sutherland, said employment outcomes for TAFE NSW graduates were exceptional.
“There are new childcare centres popping up everywhere in the Riverina and they are screaming out to employ people,” she said.
“It’s a wonderful job if you have a desire to want to help others and have a positive impact on a child’s life. And no two days are ever the same in childcare.”
TAFE NSW West Wyalong is offering a Certificate III of Early Childhood Education and Care for semester one, 2019. The course can also be studied online, when and where it suits students, via TAFE Digital.
To find out more about studying childcare at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Media and Communications – Business Partner, 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428.