Crystal Wright (left) was a part of the TAFE program before gaining work with St James where she assists residents like Joyce Robinson.
Crystal Wright (left) was a part of the TAFE program before gaining work with St James where she assists residents like Joyce Robinson. TAFE Queensland

Aged care facility proves a springboard to employment

AN AGED care facility has become the springboard to employment for several TAFE students on the Gold Coast.

TAFE Queensland in conjunction with Arcare St James - 'one of Australia's most innovative and leading Aged Care providers on the Gold Coast' - gave students the opportunity to show off their skills in 'Individual Support'.

And the lessons learnt paid dividends with several students securing ongoing work as personal care workers.

"All the students were excited, confident and eager to put their skills into practice," Residence Manager at Arcare St James in Helensvale Fiona Hancock said.

"They were not afraid to ask questions or seek direction from the team members."

From the outset, the students showed an eagerness to jump into the fray and learn as much as they could from their more experienced counterparts.

They were also guided on their path by staff from TAFE Queensland.

"They were supported by a TAFE Queensland facilitator who was great at talking to management on how they were progressing," Ms Hancock said.

"TAFE Queensland staff had prepared the students well before the first day. The students were all in uniform with badges and police checks on hand."

Stay-at-home mum Crystal Wright enrolled in the course and thanks to the skills learned from real first-hand experience, gained a permanent position at St James.

"I just love working at St James," she said. "It's such a lovely place to work at and I'm really happy to have gained a job in such a short time after completing my vocational placement.

 "Thanks to TAFE Queensland Gold Coast we learned how to support independence in the elderly and wellbeing, gain a range of technical skills, and develop a range of transferable skills from communication to teamwork.

 "This specialised course gave us the skills to facilitate the empowerment of older people, and provide support to those living with illnesses such as dementia.

"Our highly-experienced teachers provide one-on-one guidance and supported us every step of the way, to ensure we had the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in our new careers."

And Ms Wright's feel-good story may not be the last to involve Arcare and the emerging future of aged care service with the sector predicted to experience strong growth over the next five years with an excess of 50,000 job openings expected.

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