How to transition to working in disability care without qualifications?

I am exploring how to get a job as a disability support worker. While many job ads require a Certificate 3 or 4 in disability care, many online resources say you can enter the field without
qualifications.

I am happy to eventually get qualifications (for example by studying part time while working), but I cannot afford to take a whole year off work to study. Also, while I don't have qualifications in disability care, I have other (but not relevant) qualifications and good generic skills (good communication skills, empathy, problem solving, good judgement, etc).

I would be grateful for any advice about where to look for such jobs. What sort of employers should I be looking at? Are there traineeships that combine work and study?
I live in Melbourne/Victoria, if it’s relevant.

Comments

  • Have you tried applying and stating you are willing to train on the job?

    • I’m not at that stage yet (haven’t left current job). But I thought about calling the HR depts of some of the larger employers to get their perspective. They are constantly advertising for staff.

  • Certificate 3 in disability care is very easy and doesn't take long to do. Unless you particularly enjoy trainee pay, then you're better off keeping your current job and just doing the course.

  • A friend started this route from unemployment by offering himself as a casual at local old folks home etc just doing crap duties and supervised etc, he picked up lots of holiday relief work etc and 5 or 6 years later has on the job made quals and loves it

  • I am happy to eventually get qualifications (for example by studying part time while working), but I cannot afford to take a whole year off work to study.

    Why not get the qualifications while continuing your current work?

    As @AustriaBargain says above, Cert III is pretty basic … more or less Year 12 equivalent difficulty. The main challenge is dragging through all the content they want you to get through, but it's not inherently difficult.

  • I think you should do the traineesship to get experience and placement

  • I don’t think it will be difficult to do the certificates whilst working in your current job or after starting a new one. Contact tafe or whoever is running it and ask. You might want to do that quickly before terms starts (presumably soon).

    One thing that’s worth noting is that there are better and worse providers to work for. Some staff will have bad habits and attitude, that you don’t want to learn, others are amazing. There’s a real variety of type of work as well. Doing the course might help you meet a few people and get some ideas before starting. You could also look at doing some night shifts or weekends whilst you’re still working in your old job - bearing in mind that you’ll have the least support on these shifts.