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Ringa McCarthy, 38, has recently completed a Certificate III in Individual Support through TAFE Digital, allowing her to study around her busy family life and obtain a nationally recognised qualification.
And the former chef has already gained employment with an aged care provider in an industry crying out for more workers.
As a young girl, Ringa used to help care for her grandmother with dementia when she lived with her single mum in Estonia. So, when it came time to launch a new career after being a stay-at-home mum to her two children, Ringa chose to draw on that lived experience.
“I wanted to do something that gave back to the community but could also fit in with my family life,” Ringa said.
“I used to be a chef for many years in Estonia and Ireland, but kitchen work is not friendly for a young family. I started thinking about my grandmother and my years spent caring for her, and I decided aged care could really work for me.”
The Green Point resident is now working part-time with Aquamarine Personalised Home Care and loves her new profession.
“The work feels very rewarding,” Ringa said.
“My clients want to continue living independently in their own homes and they are so grateful for the support to help them achieve that.”
The Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into Caring for Older Australians found that by 2050, more than 3.5 million Australians would be using aged care services and to cater for that growth, the workforce would need to quadruple to nearly a million workers.
TAFE Digital teacher Vikki Warner said the industry offered a combination of job security and satisfaction.
“Almost all of our TAFE Digital graduates walk straight into jobs and if you are compassionate and love helping people, it can be the perfect profession,” Ms Warner said.
“You really are making a difference in a person’s life by helping them retain dignity as they age. Older people have given so much to society and they deserve to be shown value and respect. It’s a beautiful thing to help care for someone in those years and it is definitely more than just a job.”
Ringa said studying through TAFE Digital allowed her to change her career without changing her lifestyle.
“It was great for my family – I found the balance I needed and could do webinars and study when the kids were at school or later in the evenings,” Ringa said.
“TAFE Digital allowed me to choose when and how I wanted to learn and study. It was perfect.”
Explore hundreds of courses online and kickstart a new career with TAFE Digital. For more information, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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