Demand rises for personal care jobs
ONE in 10 jobs forecast to be created in Australia is for a personal care worker, the occupation also tipped to have the most vacancies.
Jobs department data shows 90,600 personal carers and assistants will be needed in the five years to May, 2022, taking the workforce numbering 280,100 in May, 2017, to 370,800.
Across all occupations, 948,400 jobs are forecast to be created in the same period.
Students can become qualified before they finish high school, starting in Years 11 and 12 with a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance through the VET in Schools program.
It gives students a taste of a health career, whether they want to work as a carer or move into nursing, medical or allied health services; the skills to be employed in healthcare after school, and gain career-related work experience as well as an income; and credits towards their high school certificate.
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Education Centre learning and development head Lea Hague said it was a great option for students to gain experience related to their career choice, as well as try a job so they could make informed career choices early.
"They learn from basic anatomy and physiology to health conditions, as well as helping people get in and out of bed, dressing, showering, brushing their teeth, using lifting equipment that they might use at various sites, and get their Senior First Aid certificate,” Ms Hague said.
"It's really supporting them to learn the basic skills so they can be good carers in all sorts of different environments.”
Students learn basic skills in a practical hospital or aged care setting, rather than a school classroom, and must complete work placements in which they gain on-the-job experience.
"They can work in an allied health environment, something that's connected to them, and they feel like they're on their pathway to their chosen career,” Ms Hague said.
"This might not be where they stop but they get really excited because they're doing something in a really practical way, that's relevant to where they want to end up.
"If being a carer is what they want to do, it sets them up for that choice as well - that's a really worthwhile career in itself.
"The fact we're able to contribute to them setting themselves on their pathway to where they want to go is really exciting for us.
"It results in real employment outcomes.”
Students interested in a healthcare VET in Schools program should talk to their VET in Schools co-ordinator or career counsellor.