People love their vets almost as much as their pets, and as World Veterinary Day approaches on 25 April, TAFE NSW teachers say the need for new workers in the veterinary industry has never been greater.
Australia’s pet population of 29 million is now higher than its human population, with an explosion in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic as people turned to furry friends for comfort and support.
TAFE NSW Animal Studies Teacher Amber Kerr said in her time working in the animal services industry in both Canada and Australia, she has never seen such a high demand for vets and vet nurses.
“Employers are screaming out for staff right now – there is an incredible boom taking place in the animal services sector so there are job opportunities galore,” Ms Kerr said.
“Our hands-on, practical courses at TAFE NSW ensure students can graduate on Friday and walk into a vet clinic with all the skills to start work on Monday.
“If you have a love for animals, veterinary nursing is an incredibly rewarding profession. Helping an animal that comes in sick recover and watching them go home happy and well with their owner is the best feeling in the world.”
Many studies show that owning a companion animal has huge benefits for mental health. A recent survey by the Waltham Foundation found that 86 per cent of respondents felt they had bonded more with their animals in lockdown, whilst 60 per cent thought their pet had helped them maintain a regular routine, and 43 per cent said their animal reduced their anxiety.
Taia McDonald is an 18-year-old Orange local who has scored her dream job in the industry as a trainee veterinary nurse at the Orange Veterinary Hospital.
She studied a Certificate II in Animal Studies while still in high school and did her work placement with the clinic. She is now completing a Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing while working part-time.
“I love animals and grew up with lots of pets at home – cats, dogs, birds, reptiles – and it was always what I wanted to do,” Taia said.
“The TAFE NSW training took me three steps forward in my career. The connections I made through TAFE NSW, the support from teachers, and the skills I have gained have all helped me so much.
“It’s amazing to now be in a clinic learning the practical side of things and I loved it from the very first day. I just want to get as much experience as I can so I can give every animal the very best care.”
Orange Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager Rosie Rowse said the clinic currently has three trainee nurses on staff, two of whom are studying at TAFE NSW.
“The combination of studying at TAFE NSW and working at the same time is an excellent way for our young employees to learn,” Ms Rowse said.
“They are able to apply all the skills they learn at TAFE NSW in a real-world workplace under the guidance of our qualified and experienced nurses. It’s a great mix of theory and practical learning.”
Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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