The tireless dedication of the country’s caregiving network has been celebrated during National Carers Week.
An opportunity to recognise, celebrate and raise awareness about Australia’s three million paid and unpaid care workforce; the week took place from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 October to acknowledge the diversity of carers and their caring roles.
According to IBISWorld statistics, there are 888,000 employees who earn a living in the community services industry in Australia in 2023.
In addition, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, shows that in 2022 there were 2.65 million carers in Australia, representing 10.8 percent of all Australians.
The ABS data showed females are more likely to be carers (12.3 percent of all females) than males (9.3 percent of all males) while over one-third (37.4 percent) of primary carers had a disability, twice the rate of non-carers (15.3 percent).
In line with the experiences of many Just Better Care support workers, training organisation, training.com.au says community support workers not only enrich the lives of others but typically find their work hugely rewarding.
The care sector boasts a range of job pathways for those eager to progress in the sector with roles ranging from support and outreach workers to care managers.
Working closely with people in a caregiving capacity requires personality traits and skills that can’t be taught in a classroom.
For this reason, many people considering a career in care work are more prepared for it than they may think, training.com.au says.
Such traits include being an active listener and having good social skills, as well as strong time management skills.
However, it says, one of the best traits of any good support worker is being able to display empathy.
“A compassionate nature and kindness go a long way in a role as a community support worker. Some clients might feel embarrassed or inadequate in certain areas, and putting yourself in their shoes helps the client feel safe and at ease.”
Training.com.au says the future looks bright for those considering community care work with the economic and social costs of COVID-19 continuing to shape the broader community services industry, driving high demand for workers.
It says this pattern is predicted to continue over the next five years, including plenty of job opportunities in community support.