Upskill or retrain: Community services courses that only take 12 months

RMIT’s TAFE courses in community services and aged care will prepare you to land some of Australia’s most in-demand jobs.

Share

Are you looking for a rewarding career with strong job prospects? RMIT’s TAFE courses can give you the skills and experience to work in the growing social work and community services sector in as little as 12 months. 

Our health and social science courses have a strong emphasis on gaining practical experience in placements and are taught by practitioners with strong links to industry who can teach from personal experience.

Meet our social science students and alumni and find out how they chose a course to upskill or reskill quickly and open the door to an industry bursting with possibility.

Demand for skills in social services

The Australian Government’s Job Outlook indicates very strong future growth for Welfare support workers, particularly community workers, family support workers and youth workers.1

Ater studying a bachelor and master's degree in international development, Magda was interning and working in admin when she decided to do something different. She chose the Certificate IV in Community Services to help her gain the in-demand skills and experience she needed to work in a family violence organisation.

“I was interested in working with local organisations and meeting people face to face. I didn’t want to be locked in an office not meeting anyone,” said Magda.

“I heard people who go to TAFE get real skills and learn what the industry requires to get you in the door.” 

 

Career outcomes of the Certificate IV in Community Services

After completing this community services course, you’ll be qualified to work in the sector in a broad range of roles as a case worker, community support worker, domestic violence worker and early intervention homelessness worker.

Magda now has a job as a specialist family violence response worker at Berry Street.

“I started applying for work while still studying and the teachers told us about job opportunities and sent us job advertisements. We had guest lecturers coming in; a speaker from The Orange Door talked to us about what skills they look for in a family violence organisation, which was helpful.”

“Because of Melbourne’s lockdowns, we couldn’t do a placement, but I didn’t feel it was a loss because the teachers were so brilliant and supported us so much. They set roleplays which made me feel like I had real experience and they watched the progression of our skills over the year, so they knew where to support us and where the gaps were. The teachers said they’d vouch for us as references on our resumés and I’m still connected with all of them.

“All the units were interesting, and I was surprised to get such a high level of experience and knowledge from the certificate. I had done a master’s degree thinking I’d get that experience, but it wasn’t until now that I felt like I had.

 

Why RMIT?

“RMIT is close to where I live, and I knew students there who had a good experience. My friends told me RMIT is inclusive, accommodating and welcoming,” said Magda on why she chose RMIT.

The Certificate IV in Community Services is also a JobTrainer and Free TAFE priority course, meaning you could be eligible for low-fee or free tuition at RMIT.

aged care services

Demand for skills in aged care support

Aged care and disability support workers have very strong future career growth.2 Seek projects 24.7% job growth for disability support workers in the next five years and reports an average rating of job satisfaction as 4.3 out of 5.3

Impacts of the pandemic and the findings from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have fast-tracked the need for more aged care workers, and a recent economic analysis conducted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia warned Australia's aged care sector is facing a looming shortage of at least 110,000 workers over the coming decade.4

When Michelle took a redundancy package from her workplace, she wanted to try a different field where she could use her people skills.

“I like to help others and thought a course in aged care or disability support would be the perfect fit for me,” said Michelle. 

 

Career outcomes of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability)

Studying this course can set you up as a disability support officer, aged care worker, personal care assistant, home care worker, family support worker and accommodation support worker.

“The course is equipping me with the skills to become a personal care assistant,” said Michelle.

“After I did a one-week work placement in aged care, I decided I’d be more suited to in-home care or disability. I’ll do a two-week placement in that sector in the second half of the course. 

 

Why RMIT?

The Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability) is a JobTrainer and Free TAFE priority course. Michelle was eligible to study the certificate at RMIT without paying tuition fees, under the Free TAFE program.

Michelle also chose RMIT for its city location and for the blended delivery online and in-person.

“I wanted a flexible course with a mix of online and in person, and I didn’t want to do anything longer than 12 months and more than 2 days a week, because I’ve got young kids,” said Michelle.

“I’ve learned a lot from the stories the teaching staff tell us. Studying at RMIT is so much more valuable than just reading a lesson in a book.” 

Story: Hilary Jones

 

1 Australian Government’s Job Outlook website occupations page for Welfare Support Workers. Accessed 28 October 2021. https://joboutlook.gov.au/occupations/welfare-support-workers?occupationCode=4117

2 Australian Government’s Job Outlook website occupations page for Aged and Disabled Carers. Accessed 28 October 2021. https://joboutlook.gov.au/occupations/aged-and-disabled-carers?occupationCode=4231

3 Seek website career advice page for How to become a Disability Support Worker. Accessed 28 October 2021. https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/disability-support-worker

4 SBS News online article ‘Australia's aged care workforce shortage could reach 110,000 in next decade, new report warns.’ Published 10 August 2021, accessed 28 October 2021. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-s-aged-care-workforce-shortage-could-reach-110-000-in-next-decade-new-report-warns/6d673e52-d6f8-4955-8071-e24351ccb28b

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.