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TAFE NSW delivering more pet groomers to industry amid surge in demand


Two Sydney pet groomers are achieving success in the in-demand industry after studying at TAFE NSW, taking advantage of the rise of the ‘fur baby’ that kicked off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Animal Medicines Australia estimates the nation’s pet population is about 28.7 million creatures. To cater for the needs of these furry friends, the need for pet groomers has grown, with more than 3,000 jobs forecast to be added to the sector between 2021 and 2026.

TAFE NSW is delivering skilled workers to the industry through its Certificate III in Animal Care Services (Pet Grooming), which is helping students find a job or start their own business.

Heather Lamy and Elise Smith are graduates of the TAFE NSW course who have since established their own thriving pet grooming business together.

“Animals have always been my passion, so I was eager to find a career that would combine my interest with a role that was meaningful,” said Ms Lamy.

“I really enjoyed studying at TAFE NSW, as it gave me the practical skills I needed to successfully groom different types of animals and understand the spectrum of animal behaviour. This helped me to move forward with confidence knowing that I had a strong knowledge base.

“My TAFE NSW course gave me peace of mind that this was the career for me. I learn better in a hands-on environment, so it was the practicals that made the biggest difference to my learning. I also gained business skills, which helped me launch my career and carve the path I wanted to take.”

Pet ownership in Australia has surged in recent years, with 69% of households now owning pets, compared to 61% in 2019, according to surveys by Animal Medicines Australia. The growth has prompted a significant need for more qualified groomers to enter the industry.

“With the increase in demand for pet groomers, TAFE NSW’s Certificate III in Animal Care Service (Pet Grooming) is delivering a pipeline of skilled workers to meet that need,” said TAFE NSW Animal Studies Head Teacher, Erica Steppat.

“The strength of this course is that it provides students with both the practical skills they need to successfully groom animals, and the knowledge to enable and empower them to launch their own business if they wish.

“Heather and Elise are an example of how gaining a qualification through TAFE NSW can be the springboard for your success in this industry.”

Ms Lamy and Ms Smith’s business, Spots and Brows, has gone from strength to strength. In what is a full-circle situation, they are now accept TAFE NSW students for work placements at their business, to help enhance the skills of student groomers.

“I get to work in a role that combines my passion with using my skills,” said Ms Smith.

“I’m incredibly proud of the business we’ve built, and I love that we’re using our skills to make the lives of animals, and their owners, better.

“With the industry in need of more qualified pet groomers, I encourage anyone with an interest in animals to consider studying at TAFE NSW and joining the pet grooming industry.”

Media contact: Rob Virtue, Communications Specialist,