A touch of hu­man­ity can boost job prospects, Melanie Burgess writes

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - CAREERS | NEWS & ADVICE -

PEO­PLE who care for oth­ers will be taken care of them­selves, with strong em­ploy­ment fore­cast for the next five years.

An ex­tra 129,100 car­ers and aides are ex­pected to be needed be­tween 2018 and 2023, Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment data shows.

It is more than twice the num­ber of new busi­ness, hu­man re­sources and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als (57,000) and more than three times the num­ber of new in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy pro­fes­sion­als (44,000) in the same pe­riod.

Most of the new car­ers and aides are ex­pected to work in aged and dis­abil­ity care (69,200), child­care (27,600) or nurs­ing sup­port and per­sonal care (11,400).

ACH Group sup­port worker Melanie Trud­gen turned her back on a 20-year ca­reer in fi­nance to pur­sue a more peo­ple-ori­ented ca­reer and says she has never been hap­pier.

After pay­ing off their mort­gage, she and her hus­band de­cided to get into jobs that offered a dif­fer­ent type of re­ward. She stud­ied part time to com­plete a Cer­tifi­cate III in Aged Care and has been em­ployed as a sup­port worker since May.

“One of the great things about be­ing a sup­port worker is that ev­ery day is pretty much dif­fer­ent,” she says. “You see dif­fer­ent peo­ple, hear dif­fer­ent sto­ries.

“Along­side do­mes­tic as­sis­tance, shop­ping and per­sonal care, we al­ways in­cor­po­rate so­cial sup­port. We get out and about, take peo­ple to art classes and so­cial groups.

“I en­joy spend­ing time with peo­ple, and I have a close re­la­tion­ship with my grand­mother so, for me, I gen­uinely en­joy my work.”

Trud­gen helps to run So­cial Links groups in her area, of­fer­ing a weekly art class, choir and dance group.

“I help with the ad­min­is­tra­tion, set up the room, of­fer sup­port dur­ing the class, then stay be­hind and clean up,” she says. “It’s won­der­ful be­ing in­volved in these groups, see­ing the en­joy­ment they bring to peo­ple.”

Trud­gen’s em­ployer, ACH Group, was named an Em­ployer of Choice at the 2018 Aus­tralian Busi­ness Awards.

Its peo­ple and cul­ture gen­eral man­ager Ni­c­hole Tier­ney says staff pro­duce bet­ter out­comes for cus­tomers when they are en­gaged, have op­por­tu­ni­ties to keep learn­ing and are recog­nised for their con­tri­bu­tions.

SEEK re­search re­veals jobs in the aged and dis­abil­ity sup­port sec­tor of­fer an av­er­age salary of $68,375.

Pic­ture: PHOTOJO

SAT­IS­FAC­TION: Sup­port worker Melanie Trud­gen, with res­i­dent Bert Ulseth, is hap­pier since she changed her ca­reer after study­ing part time to com­plete a Cer­tifi­cate III in Aged Care.

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