Now's the time to consider a career in caring
Thinking about a career in aged care or disability support? How would you like to fast track your career through hands-on workplace experience, a nationally recognised qualification and access to great employment opportunities? You can... with a pre-traineeship.
The aged care and disability support sectors offer fantastic employment opportunities and rewarding career options where you can really make a difference in people's lives. Whether you're starting new, rejoining the workforce or switching careers, a pre-traineeship will get you job-ready and feeling confident that you you've got the skills, knowledge and experience employers want.
Best of all, the Certificate II in Introduction to Aged Care and the Certificate II in Introduction to Disability Care pre-traineeships are both in the Lower fees, local skills program, so you pay only half the usual course fees! And if you're on a concession or aged 15-24, your course fees will be capped at $400 ($1,200 for non-concession students). There's never been a better time!
Western Australia's aged care sector needs more skilled workers! If you're interested in a career in aged care, please visit our dedicated page for information about the industry, the jobs and careers it offers, and the training to get you there.
About the pre-traineeships
Pre-traineeships are courses designed to give you job ready skills and knowledge, and a 'taster' of working in a particular industry or job role — in this case, as an aged care or disability support worker. They run for around three to four months, and involve formal study at a TAFE college or private training provider combined with a work placement where you'll gain hands-on skills and experience with clients in an actual workplace such as a residential aged care facility or group and/or community housing.
The training component of your pre-traineeship is based on nationally accredited vocational education and training (VET) units of competency, and on successful completion you will receive a nationally recognised Certificate II qualification.
If you are offered a full traineeship or you decide to grow your skills and knowledge through a higher level qualification — eg the Certificate III in Individual Support for aged care or disability support — after your pre-traineeship, you will receive credit for the units you have already completed which means you can get that higher level qualification more quickly.
One of the best things about these pre-traineeships is the work placement component, where you'll spend around 100 hours in an actual workplace with some of WA's industry leaders in aged care and disability support. You'll be supported and mentored by qualified staff, and experience the day to day duties of an aged care or disability support worker. This gives you a strong advantage when it comes to applying for jobs.
The employers who are supporting this program by providing work placement opportunities are actively looking for great people to join their team. During your work placement, you'll have the opportunity to show that you have not only the skills and knowledge, but also the positive attitude and kind and caring personality that they're looking for.
At the end of your pre-traineeship, you may be offered employment directly or you may be offered a traineeship for a Certificate III qualification, which is fully paid employment while you study. With jobs growth strong in both aged care and disability support, your pre-traineeship qualification can open up great opportunities!
Pre-traineeship course information
Use the course list below to find out more about these pre-traineeship qualifications, and which TAFE colleges and training providers are offering them. For information about course options, select from the training providers listed.
There's 180 qualifications with course fees reduced by half or more, through the Lower fees, local skills program, so you can study, save, and succeed. Find out more about the Lower fees, local skills program and browse the full list of half-price qualifications.
How we can help
If you're thinking about your first step towards working in aged care or disability support, your local Jobs and Skills Centre can help you with information about training and career choices. They can also talk to you about pre-traineeships, and help you decide whether this is the right option for your career plans.
Services at all Jobs and Skills Centres are free, and available to everyone. The centres are located across metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
What type of work could I do?
Aged care worker
Taking care of the elderly can be one of the most demanding and challenging jobs within the healthcare sector, but it also comes with many rewards and fantastic opportunities for a varied and successful career. As an aged care worker, you could be employed in residential care such as a nursing home or retirement village, care facilities such as respite accommodation or a hospital, or even providing in-home support services.
Aged care workers provide physical support to elderly people by assisting with daily activities and personal tasks, and emotional support through companionship and understanding. The range of work you can do often changes from day to day, but is always very person-centred.
When you first start in aged care, in an entry-level position, you would be following an individualised care plan for each client to ensure that they are getting the care and support that they need, and working under supervision. As your skills and knowledge grow, you will be able to step into job roles with more responsibility. You may also like to do further study in specialist fields such as dementia care or physical therapy, depending on what area of aged care interests you.
Disability support worker
Providing support and care to people with an intellectual or physical disability can be extremely rewarding, and you can make a big difference to people's lives. As a disability support worker, you could be employed in residential care such as group or community living, disability support facilities such as occupational rehabilitation, or providing in-home support services.
Disability support workers help people who have an intellectual or physical disability to be more independent and self-reliant, enabling them to participate in community and social activities and maintain a sense of well being. From personal care, assistance with day to day tasks and therapy and learning activities, the range of work you can do is extensive and varied.
When you first start in an entry-level disability support position, you would be working under supervision and following an individualised care plan for each client to ensure that they are getting the care and support that they need. As your skills and knowledge grow, you will be able to move into job roles with more responsibility. You may also like to do further study in specialist types of disability support, depending on what interests you.
Industry and jobs profile
Aged care and disability support work are both part of Australia's social assistance and allied health industry sector, which is within the broader industry area of healthcare — one of the largest and fastest growing workforces both nationally and locally here in Western Australia where it employs over 172,000 people. The Commonwealth Government's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which commenced in WA July 2018, is providing additional funding for support programs and services across the State for people with disability and this will contribute to the growing demand for skilled workers.
Our national aged care sector provides services to 1.3 million Australians. Here in WA, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage forecasts that by 2031 the number of people in WA aged 65 years and above will increase by more than two-thirds to 586,700 individuals, and a significant number of those people will require some level of care.
Demand for aged care services is growing across all areas, however home care and support is growing at a faster rate.
As the demand for aged care services increases, so does the demand for qualified, skilled and experienced aged care workers to provide these services. This is a strong jobs growth area that can offer you not only a job for today but a career for life.
About 4.5 million people in Australia are living with disability. To ensure we can meet the demand for services available through the NDIS, WA government agencies and service providers are working together on strategies to ensure we have skilled workers for residential, community and in-home support services.
The WA Disability Services Sector Industry Plan forecasts that the number of disability support jobs in WA will increase significantly, with particularly strong jobs growth in regional areas. National Disability Services (NDS) estimates the number of disability support jobs in WA will almost double over the next three years, rising from 10,507 in 2019 to 20,144 in 2022.
Disability support services will always be a high priority for Western Australia, to improve the quality of life for people with disability. Employment opportunities and career prospects have never been better, with work that makes a difference in people's lives.
Source for graphic: ABS Disability, ageing and carers Australia report (2018)
The importance of a skilled workforce
Bernadette Williams is the Coordinator for Respite Services at Perth's Ability Centre, a not for profit service provider with a range of support services and programs for around 400 families and people of all ages. They also run a number of supported independent living centres.
In this video, Bernadette talks about why she loves working in disability support, and the importance of good training and a skilled workforce for the delivery of quality support services and programs for people with disability.