Aged and disability care industry needs ‘a lot more staff’
Three employers are urging international students to come and work in the Murraylands, but their advice could apply to anyone.
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Jobs are available in caring professions in the Murraylands, employers say – and there will only be more in years to come.
Dozens of international university students toured the region with Study Adelaide last month, including about 40 who had an interest in aged and disability care.
Representatives of the Lerwin Nursing Home, Resthaven and Community Living Australia said the industry was growing fast.
“We can never get enough workers,” CLA’s Alys Green said.
“We’re going to need a lot more staff,” Lerwin’s Nicole Healey said.
Here are four takeaways for anyone interested in getting into the industry.
Experience is not always required
One panel members said applicants could complete their qualifications on the job; another said staff needed a Certificate III, but could get the support they needed to finish it after they started.
Visiting potential employers and making yourself known could help you get a foot in the door, Regional Development Australia’s Shaun Harris said, whether you had graduated, were still studying or were just interested in the industry.
Volunteering could also be a way into the sector, Ms Healey said – you’d get to know staff, residents and elements of the job before you started.
Start at the bottom and work your way up
Newcomers might start as a support worker or receptionist, then rise through the ranks, Mr Harris said.
“Think of it as a journey,” he said.
“You might start in one place but have an opportunity to move on.”
Lerwin’s Tammie Hamilton said she had become a clinical nurse five years after she had started in aged care, and a facility manager within seven years.
“Your skill (development) will be way above what you’ll ever get in a hospital,” she said.
Know your strengths
Panel members said the best applicants were:
Compassionate towards residents or clients
Flexible with rostering
Reliable when rostered
Able to work independently and as part of a team
“It’s a relationship-based role,” Ms Healey said.
“You’re working where people are living – it’s their home – so you have to go in and respect that environment.”
Keep your wits about you
Working in a caring industry could be full-on, confronting or daunting, panel members said.
But Ms Hamilson said the rewards were massive.
“And because we’re in a caring profession, we also care for each other,” she said.