Elizabeth Martinelli had done the ‘uni thing’ so she knew what tertiary study was all about.
She’d completed a Bachelor of Nature Conservation but had found herself working in hospitality as jobs were scarce in that field.
It was through one of those jobs that she heard about the Certificate IV in Ageing Support through UOW College Bega campus – an innovative paid traineeship done in partnership with the Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care.
The certificate not only gets its graduate job ready and employed but offers a pathway into nursing, with successful trainees eligible to apply for the Bachelor of Nursing at UOW Bega Campus, and/or permanent positions with Sapphire Coast Community Aged Care.
Students are paid industry award wages and must be available to work for 25 hours per week – which mirror workplace expectations of night and weekend work.
“I originally worked at a fish and chip shop but I got sick of that, then I tried doing administration at a caravan park before going back to hospitality,” she said.
“I was working in the kitchen of an aged care facility and it was actually the facility manager who told me about the traineeship program.
“I really enjoyed working with the residents at the facility and thought I would apply for the program.”
Elizabeth said as part of the application process she had a to write a paragraph about herself and why she would like to take part in the program, and then underwent an interview.
“They chose people who they believed had the right attributes to work with older people,” she said.
“The trainers had warned us that it would be intense, especially the personal care side of things.”
Elizabeth said the program has more than lived up to her expectations, especially the practical training she is getting as a paid member of the facility staff.
“There were a lot of people in the course like me, who hadn’t done that side of aged care before but the only way to really learn it is on the job. The experience of actually assisting the residents is invaluable,” she said.
“It helps us to apply the theory to practice almost immediately.”
Elizabeth said as well as working inside the facility she has also been given the opportunity to work as a home care assistant as part of the program, and the variety of work has kept her motivated.
“I do one day at the facility and three days driving to client’s houses to help them with personal care, domestic assistance, and appointments,” she said.
“I spent three months working only at the facility to make sure I had the knowledge and experience to do the home care side of things. The hours suit me better.”
Elizabeth will finish the program in December and said it has changed her perception of working within the aged care sector.
“I really think it’s the best way to attract people into the industry and I would recommend anyone to go it a go, especially if they have never done this type of work before.”
To find out more about traineeship opportunities with UOW College please call 1300 885 395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing Support Trainee
UOW College Australia (RTO: 91159)