The increasing demands of an ageing population and a rise in the numbers of individuals accessing disability services are driving a jobs boom in the disability and community care workforce, with up to an estimated 400 new workers needed in the Illawarra region by 2017.
The Health Care and Social Assistance sector became the biggest employer in both the Wollongong and wider Illawarra region in the year ending August 2011, overtaking Manufacturing, Retail, Public Administration and Education for local employment.
Mike Field, Project Manager, Workforce Recruitment at National Disability Services recently launched a television commercial aimed at promoting the benefits of a career in the sector. The commercial features the experiences of Talia Low, who has cerebral palsy, and the inspiring professionals who have helped support her journey to start high school.
“There has never been a better time to explore a career in the disability and community care sector. Employment is booming, with up to 10,000 new workers needed in NSW to fill a wide variety of roles providing support for more than 380,000 people by 2017,” Mr Field said.
“Recent research found that more than half the number of respondents recognised the disability and community care sector as providing rewarding work, far ahead of other major industry sectors including retail, mining and manufacturing.
“The sector offers a broad range of career choices, from speech pathologists and occupational therapists to drivers, gardeners and IT professionals. Students and young people, return-to-work parents and career changers will play a vital role in filling job vacancies and providing high-quality support services in the future.
“You can go online and take a quick picture-based career quiz to find out what type of job in the sector would suit you best,” he said.
Greenacres Disability Services CEO Stephen Beard said his organisation had supported carecareers since it began in 2009 and recruits staff through the website.
“The carecareers website and online tools are an asset to Greenacres Disability Serviceswhen it comes to recruiting new staff” Mr Beard said.
“A career with a disability or community care provider like Greenacres offers not only a rewarding career, but job security, flexibility and good opportunities for training and career advancement.”
“Greenacres currently supports more than 900 people in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Nowra and surrounding areas each week. We look forward to the challenge of attracting new workers and offering greater career opportunities in years to come.”