The Health Care and Social Assistance industry, which includes aged care and disability services, is the largest employing and fastest growing industry in Australia, offering high job prospects with very strong future growth, according to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (2021), 2020 Employment Projections.
This growth is supported by the continued demand generated by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (disability services) and Australia’s ageing population (aged care).
An increasing demand for assistance in home and community settings has seen an increase in job opportunities for people of diverse skill-sets, circumstances and career goals.
The employment projections show there will be many opportunities in support work. These roles are projected to provide the most new jobs across all occupations, increasing by 54,700 jobs by November 2025.
Working in home and community based disability and aged care services provides an opportunity to undertake meaningful work that contributes to the wellbeing of people in the local community, while balancing work with lifestyle.
At local ageing and disability support organisation, Menzies Support Services, work hours can be negotiated around family and other commitments.
Commencing her working life in aged care, disability support worker, Karla enjoys helping clients develop living skills, and the flexibility the role offers.
“I wanted to help others do everyday livings things, and support them to be as independent as they can,” she said.
Karla says the role accommodates people with families wanting to work around their children’s needs.
“My job works in well with caring for my son. I can work the hours he’s at kinder, and still be there for him in the evenings.”
Some Menzies Support Services staff are employed with other organisations, and are able to split their time between jobs to suit their availability and lifestyle.
There are also opportunities for people seeking a career change to enter the sector positions which don’t require a qualification, whether or not future study is part of your plan.
If you are interested in community services and don’t plan to gain a qualification, you can apply for a domestic assistant role.
Cassie Crowe, service delivery manager at Menzies Support Services, says domestic assistance workers help older members of the community to maintain a clean and healthy home environment, which in turn helps them stay in their own home longer.
“The service provides the client with social interaction, motivates them to maintain skills and mobility, and provides regular monitoring so we can respond to their changing needs.” Cassie said.
“So it’s not just about cleaning, domestic assistants make a positive contribution to the client’s wellbeing, without needing a qualification to do so.”
Community Support Workers also support people in their homes and community, are generally qualified in the Certificate III Individual Support, or a higher qualification in ageing support.
“Community Support Workers are able to provide direct client support, such as assistance with showering and self care, and support to attend medical appointments.” Cassie said.
“Both roles are crucial in assisting older people to enjoy safe and fulfilling lives in their own home.”
Nici commenced work as a domestic assistant while studying to gain a support qualification.
“I started looking to make a change from working as a conference and event coordinator around six months before Covid hit,” Nici said.
“I saw the Certificate III in Individual Support advertised online and decided to do the course, which I have now completed.”
The domestic assistant role gave Nici an entry point into the sector, and valuable experience which she can now apply to direct support work.
“I found out that I could work for Menzies Support Services while I was studying, which was the perfect way to move into the sector, and I haven’t looked back.”
Initially, Nici was still working part time at her previous job, and nominated specific days she was available to work with Menzies around study and other work.
“This job easily allowed me to maintain the perfect work life balance. Menzies were super flexible about my hours, it was never a problem.”
“Anyone looking for a second job, or even a new career, look into community services,” Nici said.
“It’s a great way to contribute to your community, with the experience of meeting the clients and even learning from them.”
“The best part of this job is genuinely getting to help people so they can remain independent for longer, it’s really rewarding.”
Training Coordinator, Leisa Dent, says the Certificate III in Individual Support provides the foundation for a career as a support worker. The majority of Menzies support staff hold this qualification. For those wishing to continue studying, there are higher qualifications in disability or ageing support, and vocational courses in related fields such as mental health.
“Vocational training offers a vast range of opportunities for people interested in a career in community services or health,” Leisa said.
“Upskilling for jobs which are in demand, such as aged care and disability, may be offered free or at a reduced cost according to the student’s personal circumstances.”
Leisa says that while a qualification is desirable, Menzies also considers applications from people who bring certain personal traits, life experience and skills to the role.
“Qualifications or experience in related fields, such as education or health, can provide an array of transferrable skills which can be applied to a support role.”
Disability Services Manager at Menzies, Emily Walters, says the disability support team comes from a variety of other careers.
“Prior experience in industries such as education, health, trades, and hospitality can make for great support workers,” she said.
“These skills can be drawn upon to support participants who would like to focus on literacy, medication assistance, group programs, or meal preparation.”
Specific training is provided to new staff who are bringing skillsets from previous roles. Peer support and formal supervision from the disability services leadership team is provided as a place for professional development.
“Disability support workers assist NDIS participants to live a normal life,” Emily said.
The Menzies support team come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a rich array of skills to the organisation.
“Varied life experience and diversity of skills are key attributes of our support team.” Emily said.
Disability support worker, Darren, launched a new career when he commenced a traineeship with Menzies.
“Since leaving school 32 years ago, I worked as a cabinet maker,” he said.
“I was hearing a lot about Menzies and what they do, and looked into becoming a support worker.”
As a trainee, Darren was able to work while studying the Certificate III in Individual Support, gaining valuable experience while completing the course.
He commenced the traineeship while continuing to work as a cabinet maker, working with clients around his class timetable and other work.
“Hours are flexible, you can take on as much or as little as you like.
Darren has been with Menzies for over two years, and is now qualified, supporting a number of clients in their homes, in the community, and in a group setting at The Mount.
A regular item on Darren’s roster is the woodwork program, where he can utilize his previous work experience assisting clients to develop woodworking skills and create their own projects.
“I work with a great bunch of people,” Darren said.
“For the most part, I don't think of this as work. It's very rewarding helping others to achieve the things we may take for granted,”
Menzies Support Services are currently recruiting people to provide disability and community based aged care services. While certain tasks require a qualification, there are opportunities for people who are not qualified, people who have equivalent workplace experience, and those who have qualifications or skills in related fields.
For more information about the roles and how to apply, please go to: www.menziessupport.org.au/careers

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Menzies Support Services is committed to safe and inclusive places, policies and services for people of LGBTIQ communities.

Menzies Support Services is committed to safe and inclusive places, policies and services for people of LGBTIQ communities.

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03 5772 1888

ABN: 51 724 115 911. Dame Pattie Menzies Centre Inc. is a registered charity with the ACNC. Incorporation number: A0008477W.

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