Ar­rang­ing for farewell

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Job Focus -

THE small in­dus­try work­force can make it dif­fi­cult for fu­neral di­rec­tors to re­cruit em­balmers.

There are 2400 people em­ployed in the fu­neral in­dus­try in Aus­tralia, which the Em­ploy­ment Depart­ment fore­casts to grow by 1200 in the five years to 2017.

Al­fred James Fu­neral Di­rec­tors man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Gra­ham James says per­son­al­ity traits com­mon to ma­ture-age work­ers are re­quired.

Em­balmers need to be able to deal with people from a range of back­grounds and with vary­ing in­ter­ests, and ac­cu­rate record keep­ing is crit­i­cal.

“There’s not many ca­reers where you deal with such a wide range of people,” he says.

“They also need to do other things, like ar­rang­ing and con­duct­ing of fu­ner­als to wash­ing cars. I don’t think it’s men­tally or emo­tion­ally healthy to be locked up in a morgue for five days a week. They need to go out and about among the liv­ing.”

Study for a Cer­tifi­cate IV in Em­balm­ing can be ar­ranged while work­ing at a fu­neral home, as stu­dents need to have a prac­tis­ing men­tor.

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