Don’t give up on your dream

Go down the less-trav­elled path for ca­reer op­tions, re­ports Me­lanie Burgess

The Weekend Post - - News -

School leavers who missed out on get­ting into their pre­ferred ter­tiary course are be­ing urged to en­rol in any train­ing or study pro­gram.

THERE are many fac­tors to be­ing em­ploy­able but job­seek­ers can tip the odds in their favour by choos­ing a non-tra­di­tional ca­reer for their gen­der. Women and men can use their gen­der to their ad­van­tage and lever­age di­ver­sity poli­cies that make them el­i­gi­ble for ini­tia­tives rang­ing from schol­ar­ships to hir­ing quo­tas.

One area in which male work­ers are in strong de­mand is care.

Em­ploy­ment De­part­ment fig­ures re­veal just 6.2 per cent of child car­ers and 18.9 per cent of aged and dis­abil­ity car­ers are male.

Peter Scutt, co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of on­line mar­ket­place Bet­ter Car­ing, says at­tract­ing more young men to the pro­fes­sion is ex­tremely im­por­tant.

“A young man with a dis­abil­ity is of­ten look­ing for some­one with com­mon in­ter­ests – they don’t nec­es­sar­ily want some­one car­ing for them who re­minds them of their mother,” he says. “In the aged care sec­tor, it’s of­ten a sim­i­lar story.

“We have one client who en­joys the guy-time he gets to spend play­ing pool with his care worker.”

Univer­sity stu­dent Daniel Cave­nagh, 19, works part time as an in­de­pen­dent care worker through Bet­ter Car­ing for a 17-year-old man with an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity.

“As a young male care worker, I do get a lot of in­quiries,” Cave­nagh says.

“There needs to be a bal­ance to give clients op­tions when they’re look­ing for sup­port. With my cur­rent client, the gen­der def­i­nitely helps, I know he feels com­fort­able with me.”

Men also are in de­mand in nurs­ing and ed­u­ca­tion. Only 11.7 per cent of reg­is­tered nurses, 14.2 per cent of pri­mary teach­ers and 37.6 per cent of sec­ondary school teach­ers are male.

For women, the male-dom­i­nated ca­reers in which they can lever­age their gen­der are largely in STEM (science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing, math­e­mat­ics) fields.

For ex­am­ple, just 10.3 per cent of civil en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sion­als and 17.8 per cent of soft­ware and ap­pli­ca­tions pro­gram­mers are female.

Skill­sOne chief ex­ec­u­tive Brian Wex­ham says women should con­sider tra­di­tion­ally male-dom­i­nated trades.

“In the past, the most recog­nised trade for girls was hair­dress­ing but we’ve come a long way,” he says.

“I don’t think there is pres­sure on em­ploy­ers, it’s more that em­ploy­ers recog­nise the value of hav­ing women come in and in cer­tain ar­eas they are prov­ing to be very good if not bet­ter than their male col­leagues.”

Pic­ture: BOB BARKER

DE­MAND: Fire­fight­ers Sarah Nunes and Sa­man­tha He­witt.

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