Health and community support are broad career categories encompassing a diverse range of individual fields and jobs—so it can be a difficult choice for those considering where to refine their study or aspirations. You may be asking. ‘What is health and community support?’, or ‘What are the types of community support and health short courses that I can pursue?’.
First and foremost, health and community support professionals share one thing in common—they help improve the welfare of vulnerable population groups. Examples of community support and health professionals include those who specialise in disability, mental health, Indigenous and multicultural groups, aged care, youth and family services, to name a few.
As a community health professional, you are the primary provider or first point of contact that people will have with the public health and community support system. You will work in tandem with others, such as GPs, to help deliver a holistic approach to welfare, taking into account economic and social conditions. As such, it can be an incredibly rewarding role—focusing on the groups that too often slip through the cracks of traditional healthcare systems.
While the variety of roles may at first be daunting, there is a wealth of opportunity for you to find the right fit that will serve you well long term.
Begin by familiarising yourself with the many professions that are grouped together in this sector. Do any of them immediately stand out as something that you might excel at? Perhaps you’re a naturally active person or tend to take on the caring role in your existing relationships. Maybe you have your sights set on ascending through government or are passionate about better getting to know the mental health, community support or health care landscape.
If you’re still uncertain, you may like to dabble in short courses in a few areas of interest to help narrow your search. Short courses and certificates can be completed in as little as six months.
In general terms, the community support and health sectors are set to continue growing at a strong pace. In 2017, healthcare and medical was one of the fastest-growing industries according to Seek, with opportunities growing by over 11%. What’s more, the average salary is an attractive $87,000.
In terms of individual fields, there is also considerable potential for future growth. As the Victorian Government focuses on expanding and improving the National Disability Insurance Scheme, there is increasing opportunity for qualified workers to help satisfy demand.
Further, as more and more of our ageing population are leaning towards at-home care, aged care workers will continue to be sought after. There are expected to be 40,000 Australians over the age of 100 by 2055.
As well as strong career prospects in metropolitan Melbourne, community support and health workers are afforded more flexibility than most other fields. You may find opportunities working in regional or remote communities, switching between Government, the private sector, and not-for-profit organisations, and even transferring your skills between fields within the industry, enabled by upskilling through short courses.
The Victorian Government recently announced that it would be offering 50+ Free TAFE courses and pre-apprenticeship pathways for eligible students, beginning in January 2019. And the great news is that many of those included in the Free TAFE scheme fall under the health and community support sector. Not only can you start working towards a career you’ll find incredibly satisfying, but you can do it free from student debt.
Kangan Institute offers Free TAFE courses for health and community support under five key categories:
Want to apply for a health and community support course at Kangan Institute? You can browse our courses, call us on 138 233, or apply online now.