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WCIG tackles industry shortage.

Victoria is facing a critical shortage of individual support workers. It is estimated that by 2025, 65,000 more aged and disability care workers will be required to meet the demands within the community services sector.

Through ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders, WCIG Training is aware of this growing concern and the dire need to increase the workforce participation rate.

As an RTO, WCIG delivers courses in areas of demand, such as Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability) and gets people ready for work. 

A key component of WCIG’s courses is the level of responsiveness and flexibility they offer. They are designed to meet the needs of a diverse range of people from different backgrounds. As such, WCIG is considered an ideal training partner for many community groups.

Unlike other training organisations, WCIG has a strong understanding and focus on servicing different CALD communities within their preferred settings. In turn, empowering them to break social isolation, promote inclusion and reduce unemployment.

WCIG and the Somali Women’s Development Association (SDWA) have recently launched a program which focuses on providing the local African Australian community with education and employment outcomes for those interested in becoming individual support workers.

In July 2022, during a stakeholder meeting, WCIG’s Training Manager, Branka Stevanovic, approached the SWDA Founder, Sainab Sheikh, to discuss how WCIG could offer its support to the African Australian community in Melbourne’s inner western, northern and southern suburbs.

It was pointed out that although education is seen as very important, unemployment and socio disadvantage are high in the community and needs to be urgently addressed.

A solution: WCIG and SWDA to work together to deliver Certificate III in Individual Support and provide an opportunity to the African Australian community to acquire skills and secure employment as an aged or disability care worker.

“Since launching the program, interest has been growing amongst the community to work within the sector. WCIG is making it easier to access education by delivering the course at our site in Kensington. I hope over time, the program will help drive change, support the economy and see many more people gain employment. Our first graduates will finish the course in November”, Ms Sheikh said.  

In addition to making it easier to attend classes, WCIG has tailored the course to reflect the students’ cultural and religious values.

Ms Stevanovic believes that “One way we can build the workforce within the community services sector and make it more multicultural is to provide education and employment support that takes into account the needs, values and customs of culturally diverse groups”.

As a male student and with respect to the ageing population, Najid highlighted that “in my community, older Muslim men depend heavily on younger men to take care of them (e.g., assist with prayer time and hygiene (e.g., showering)). They will not readily accept women to support them.”

A large percentage of the 400,000 African Australians living in Australia reside in Victoria and form a diverse and relatively young community in and around Melbourne. Through education and employment support, WCIG can assist them in becoming job ready, building a career and improving their overall socio-economic status.

“I enjoy coming to the classes with other people from my community. I am interested in learning about working as a support worker. I got my driver’s licence and am now ready to get a job. It will be my first time working after having five children. I hope to work in aged care or home care”, said Fadimo, who attends WCIG’s Thursday classes.

Currently, 11 students are enrolled in the course. Learning is done face to face so that the needs of each student, including barriers to learning (e.g., limited English speaking skills and confidence using online platforms) are catered for.

Once the students complete Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability), SWDA’s Employment Brokers Program will support them in connecting with suitable employers, gaining and retaining employment.

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