Blogs (Media Centre)

New TAFE NSW Bega course helping local high schoolers launch aged care careers


New TAFE NSW Bega course helping local high schoolers launch aged care careers

CAREER-FOCUSED: Preparing to start their work placement as part of a TAFE NSW school-based apprenticeship are Eden Marine High School students Astrid Keaney (far left) with mum Deb Keaney (second from left) and Imogen Osten (far right), with mum Regina Osten (second from right). The students are meeting with RSL Lifecare Hugh Cunningham Gardens manager Kim Towner (centre).

6 May 2024

The head of Bega’s only community owned and operated aged care facility has applauded a move by TAFE NSW to offer aged care training to local high school students for the first time amid a worsening skills shortage in the industry.

Year 11 students from Eden Marine High School and Bega High School this year commenced a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through TAFE NSW Bega as part of a TVET course, allowing them to spend one day a week at the campus.

It comes as a recent report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) warned that the skills shortage in aged care in Australia could reach 110,000 or more in the next decade and 400,000 by 2050.

So dire is the skills shortage in regional areas, Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care took the dramatic step in 2022 of committing to bring in 25 qualified migrant care staff per year over the next five years as part of a new labour agreement with the Federal Government.

Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care CEO Julie Evans said the move by TAFE NSW to introduce aged care as a TVET course could help ease the future skills shortage and expose a new generation of young locals to rewarding aged care careers.

“We support all initiatives that encourage young people to consider working in aged care and know that this can be the start of a long and rewarding career,” Ms Evans said.

“Our residents love to see young people in their homes and really value the connection to locals through TAFE education.”

TVET – or TAFE-delivered vocational education and training – provides high school students an opportunity to study a TAFE NSW course while still at school.

The Eden and Bega High students attend the campus every Thursday, learning hands-on skills in the TAFE NSW Bega simulated aged care ward. Students must also complete 120 hours work placement as part of the qualification.

Eden High School year 11 student Indee Stranieri, 16, said the hands-on skills and knowledge learned in the course would ensure she could find a rewarding casual job after leaving school.

“I’m planning to go to uni to study tourism but having this qualification will help me get a job anywhere,” Indee said.

“Both my mum and my nan work in aged care and being able to brighten the day of the elderly is just something that makes me happy.

“The course has been really hands-on and I’m looking forward to doing the work placement.”

TAFE NSW Bega aged care teacher Nina Lavite said the young students had the opportunity to enter an industry that offered the rare combination of job security and satisfaction, with graduates leaving with the practical skills and work experience to hit the ground running.

“The aged care industry is awash with jobs at the moment and if you love helping people, it can be the perfect profession,” Ms Lavite 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 graduates walk straight into jobs, often before even graduating.”

Media contact: Dan Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 0477 722 428