International Friendship Day is celebrated on July 30 annually and in Australia, National Skills Week is coming up on 28 August 2017, and this got the team at leading Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider SkilsOne, thinking about all the friendships made at work.
Establishing new friendships in the workplace, some of which will last a lifetime, is one of the benefits of entering or re-entering the workforce.
Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne says friendship in the workplace is imperative to a happy and stable work environment.
“Though friendship does not just mean your work colleagues, this can also include your clients, patients and others you engage with daily. Strong connections and shared commitment to doing the best for your company or your community broadly can be one of the main drivers in an individual’s career choice,” she said.
A variety of careers can provide you these aspects of your working life, one such industry being the health and community care sector. In this sector, you can develop strong and mutually beneficial relationships with both colleagues and clients.
Tasmanian Carla Willcox, national VET Alumni member and winner of the 2016 Australian Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year Award, is a graduate of a Certificate III in Disability and is currently studying a Certificate IV in Disability. Having been a ‘stay at home mum’ for 13 years, Carla never expected that her step back into part time work and retraining, would lead to further studies, full time work she really enjoys and a promotion.
“When I made the decision to re-enter the workforce and re-train I had no ambition beyond getting some part-time work. But the more I got into my studies and my work in the disability sector, the further I wanted to go never thinking I’d get this far,” said Carla. “I was so shocked to be announced as an Australian Training Awards winner that I didn’t even have a speech prepared!”
A mother to four children and a wife to a husband with a fly-in/fly-out job, Carla secured a place in the Certificate III in Disability and subsequent employment as a support worker with Coastal Residential Services North West Tasmania.
Following this, a promotion saw Carla take on a position with Family Based Care in Burnie where she is
very much enjoying the “terrific” career path her training has led to.
Carla says she wants to promote and advocate for her industry and wants to be an advocate for all those other mums out there who are feeling daunted by the thought of re-entering the workforce.
“My family recognise that what I was doing was important, they really respected me for giving it a go, and everyone stepped up. They have been inspired and are extremely proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Carla.
Studies have shown that those who have strong friendships with colleagues and clients, experience greater job satisfaction, greater sense of purpose and greater longevity in the workplace, making these aspects crucial when choosing the right career fit.
During National Skills Week, VET providers in Australia will highlight the breath in career opportunities available through vocational education and training.
Working with the Australian Government, Industry, Educators and TAFE, SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications in traditional trades and emerging skills areas ranging from automotive, construction & mining; through to hairdressing, healthcare and horticulture.