Fee-Free Individual Support course an attractive prospect for a career in aged care

02 May 2023

CQUniversity’s Individual Support course is helping Paula Cifuentes and Jacqui Horniblow not only find new career paths, but also help them give back to their communities.

The Certificate III in Individual Support is currently listed on the Australian and Queensland Governments’ Fee-Free TAFE program to eligible persons, with CQUniversity delivering the training in the Central Queensland region.

An added incentive to take up a career in the aged care sector was a recent announcement of a 15 per cent wage increase by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Paula, who has worked at the Tully Nursing Home since February 2019 and found work within three months after completing her course, said she “loved her job”.

“Caring for the elderly or those with a disability is a rewarding experience,” she said.

“I get so much pleasure working with my residents, the smiles they give me when I enter their room, are so gratifying and confirm the reasons I returned to nursing. The work is very physical and a lot of the time is challenging, but I believe I am where I am supposed to be.

“No day is ever the same, there are always challenges to be met and overcome. If a person wishes to enhance the lives of others, do a job that is worthwhile, and always fell fulfilled after a day’s work, then this is the job for them. I cannot recommend it enough.

Jacqui, who was previously a self-employed hairdresser for 38 years, is two subjects away from completing her course and was recently also offered employment at the Tully Nursing Home.

“As someone who spent most of my working life in the same career, the prospect of starting a new profession was daunting,” she said.

“At the time when I was considering options for further study, my daughter was already studying with CQU and highly recommended it. Given that I live in a rural community, the fact that CQU offers online learning made it an even more attractive option. The flexibility of being able to study at my own pace allowed me to balance my studies with other work commitments.

“The thought of having to adapt to new technology and return to learning seemed very overwhelming. However, I have felt very supported throughout the entire course. You are never too old to start studying for a new career.

“It is such a rewarding line of work caring for people and improving their quality of life. There is such a need for it in our community.”

Fee-Free TAFE is funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments.

For more information visit www.cqu.edu.au/subsidy