TAFE NSW is using innovative connected delivery to continue building a pipeline of skilled workers into the aged care workforce and provide additional support for aged care facilities and home care services at a time when these measures will be sorely needed to care for our most vulnerable.
As part of the Federal Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, $444.6 million has been announced in economic stimulus measures targeted specifically to the aged care sector, in addition to a $2.4 billion health package announced on 12 March 2020.
Hornsby local Alison is enjoying her role supporting a vulnerable member of the community after studying at TAFE NSW. Alison is providing in-home care for an elderly woman three times per week, which is the perfect arrangement for her during the COVID-19 crisis.
As she cares for a single patient, Alison can ensure that through proper hygiene protocols and social distancing measures, neither of the two are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
As a young woman Alison’s dream had always been to pursue a career in nursing, but as so often happens, life got in the way. Alison became a mother and decided to forgo the long hours and shift work required for a career in nursing to pursue a more stable career in accounting.
Alison said, “I was young and had already started to pursue study in nursing but decided to put it off knowing the hours would be difficult and it wouldn’t fit in easily with raising young children.”
Though she enjoyed her career in accounting and was very happy to be able to fit her work hours around her young family, Alison always felt as though she was missing out on a career that would fulfil her.
“My children eventually grew up and left home and I thought, it’s time to go back to doing what I had a calling for. I knew that a TAFE NSW qualification would open doors for me and provide me with genuine opportunities to get into the workforce.”
Alison enrolled in the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at TAFE NSW Meadowbank and was thrilled with the opportunity to finally pursue her calling and change her career.
“TAFE NSW was my only choice. The skills I developed working hands-on in a simulated environment and during work placement reassured me that when I went into the workforce, I was trained and I knew what I was doing – I knew that TAFE NSW had my back.”
Alison completed the course in 2019 and was able to quickly secure work through a TAFE NSW-organised presentation featuring potential employers.
“As part of the course we went to an aged care expo and the teacher organised for some of the companies featured there to come into the class and speak to us. Even though I was a mature aged student who hasn’t had work experience, I received a great referral from my TAFE NSW teacher when I applied for a job with one of those companies.”
Current students will continue to study the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at TAFE NSW this term using web conferencing technology and modified face-to-face delivery which supports social distancing, while enabling students to progress their studies.
TAFE NSW has adopted connected learning as a new mode of delivery because it supports social distancing during COVID-19 and allows students to be connected to their teacher. In many cases, this still supports students to demonstrate their competency in their courses.
“I’ve found my calling. Women sometimes take a step back in their careers to accommodate their families, so once my children were on their feet, I just said “it’s time for me”. Now I know every day I go into work I’m going to make my client’s day better. I feel fulfilled in what I do every day.”
“My children are so happy to see me doing what I have always wanted to do. They thanked me for what I gave them but they are so glad that now I’m doing what makes me happy.”
To find out more about the range of study options available at TAFE NSW in 2020, including the Certificate III in Individual Support, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 0402 528 210.