A Goulburn HSC student has secured a "ticket to earn" as part of a unique TAFE NSW TVET course aimed at giving teens a running start into the workforce while still at school.
Mulwaree High School year 12 student Tayla Hogan has recently completed a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through TAFE NSW Goulburn, which will arm her with almost guaranteed employment in the critical skills shortage area of aged care.
A recent Productivity Commission report found more than 3.5 million Australians were expected to be using aged care services by 2050, about triple the current number.
For Ms Hogan, the ability to earn a tertiary qualification while still at high school was an ideal way to get the edge in a rapidly changing jobs market.
"It's comforting to know I have a qualification that will get me secure work in my back pocket," Ms Hogan said.
"The TAFE NSW course was so hands-on and our teacher was just awesome; he had years of industry experience and nothing was too much trouble."
Ms Hogan is in the final stages of applying to join the Royal Australian Navy in 2022, where she hopes to become a qualified paramedic.
But she said with her grandparents getting older, and the post-COVID jobs market more uncertain, the prospect of learning the new skills made her more employable and better able to support her older relatives.
"I knew aged care was a growing industry with a skills shortage and it gives me peace of mind to know I'm now qualified to pick up work whenever I need to," Ms Hogan said.
"The work placements were a real eye opener and the industry is nothing like people assume. I learned so much about the residents' stories and it made me appreciate where they'd come from and how good our generation has it.
"I now look at older people differently."
TAFE NSW Goulburn aged care teacher Richard Shoppee said TAFE NSW's close ties with local aged care providers meant graduates could get almost-guaranteed work in the field.
"Our aged care students are in such high demand because of the industry-leading practical skills and workplace experience available through TAFE NSW," Mr Shoppee said.
"Providing dignity and care to our older residents is one of the most important jobs anyone can do and there are so many job opportunities out there for our graduates.
"Having a qualification that gives you almost guaranteed employment will be even more attractive in the post-COVID jobs market."
For more information or to enrol, call 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au
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