TAFE NSW is helping to empower local women with in-demand skills in the community services sector, thanks to a new training collaboration with Wentworth Community Housing.
The innovative Generating Real Opportunities for Women (GROW) training program is providing western Sydney women aged 18-24 years old with hands-on skills to provide commercial and domestic cleaning services to the social housing, home care and aged care sectors.
The training has come at the right time, with the number of Australians aged 65 and over predicted to double in the next 40 years, creating a critical demand for cleaning staff within the health and aged care sector.
TAFE NSW team leader in community services, Rebeccah Matthews, said the collaboration is helping change the lives of Wentworth tenants who are facing barriers to employment, by delivering crucial skills such as individualised support, infection control and safe work practices.
"The GROW program is all about empowering women and giving them the skills industry are looking for so they can pursue meaningful employment opportunities. The program also provides participants with access to employment coaching and mentoring, so they can set themselves up for success," Mrs Matthews said.
"The skillsets pathway directly into a Certificate III in Individual Support, so if students choose to continue their studies at TAFE NSW, they can be qualified faster and receive credit for prior learning."
Wentworth Community Housing CEO, Stephen McIntyre, said Wentworth is proud to collaborate with TAFE NSW on this innovative program.
"Along with providing community housing in western Sydney for almost 25 years, Wentworth has a history of investing in and championing social programs that help our local communities thrive. In particular, the GROW program really ties into our commitment to getting our tenants into training and employment," Mr McIntyre said.
"The GROW program was built out of a need to not only empower women who face disadvantage, but to address a gap in employment that many businesses in the cleaning and care industries have identified.
"From our experience in this area, we know this kind of win-win scenario is the perfect way for people to get a much-needed leg up with the support of business owners.
"We're looking forward to seeing the first cohort of GROW women come through the program, armed with a TAFE NSW accreditation and on-the-ground experience."
For more information about the courses on offer at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.