CARING KIND: TAFE NSW aged care graduate Jack Lynch with Junee Community Centre client David O’Connor.
TAFE NSW has helped a former Junee abattoir worker make an unlikely career pivot to aged care and become an advocate for more males in the industry.
Unsure of a career path after leaving Year 12, Jack Lynch bounced around a variety of jobs, including working at McDonald’s, at the local abattoir and as a dishwasher at a local pub.
Eager to enter an in-demand industry, he took a leap of faith and secured a role as a support worker at Junee Community Centre, turning to TAFE NSW to give him the practical skills and knowledge to help him thrive in his new role.
According to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, less than 15 per cent of frontline aged care workers are male. Meanwhile, a report by the Committee for Economic Development Australia found the aged care skills gap was so dire, Australia was facing a shortage of at least 110,000 workers within the next decade.
Mr Lynch, 23, said knowing he had almost-guaranteed work for life was one of many drawcards for him.
“There are so many job opportunities and I also like the thought of being able to help vulnerable members of the community,” Mr Lynch said.
“It’s also nice to be flying the flag for me in the industry because there are so few of us around.”
As part of his role, Mr Lynch helps clients run errands, have a day out and even cleans their homes.
“For the older generation of women, it’s quite a novelty to have a young man doing their dishes and changing their linen,” he said.
Mr Lynch is also part of a unique NSW Government-funded program where he and others clean the homes of hoarders and those living in domestic squalor.
He said studying his Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through a mix of online study and practical workshops at TAFE NSW had given him the flexibility to balance his lifestyle and the skills to make a running start into the job.
“Just learning the technical side of the job at TAFE NSW – things like taking blood pressures and reading observational charts – made a huge difference,” he said. “My TAFE NSW teachers were so supportive and having the flexibility of studying much of m y course online meant I didn’t have to travel as much.”
TAFE NSW aged care teacher Katherine Doyle said: :Our aged care students are in such high demand because of the industry-leading practical skills and workplace experience available through our course.
“Providing dignity and care to our older residents is one of the most important jobs anyone can do and there are so many job opportunities out there for our graduates.
“Having a qualification that gives you almost guaranteed employment is a pretty attractive option in the post-COVID jobs market.”
Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428