Craig and Chris weren’t sure they had the skills to start a new career. But studying at Wesley Vocational Institute (RTO code 90091) gave them the confidence to follow their dream of helping others.
Chris worked as tradesman his entire working life. When he turned 50, he realised there was more to life than being a welder and thought it was time for a change.
“I like to try new things and I always [try] to challenge myself. And working in disability is something that always interested me.”
With his family’s support, he enrolled at Wesley Vocational Institute so he could finally pursue his dream career of being a disability support worker.
“I just jumped into it, and I knew I did the right thing,” Chris recalls. “Wesley Mission was absolutely fantastic. Everyone [I talked to] spoke highly about how good the training is and how well they look after you.”
Although he was unsure of his skills at first, he was committed to his decision.
“I was a little bit worried if I was good enough to support people because it’s something I’ve never done before, but the training gave me the confidence to know I was good enough to do it.”
Craig, a former warehouse manager at 42, echoes Chris’ sentiments and wasn’t feeling very confident either. He thought that changing careers might be too late for him.
“I’ve always wanted to do something more with myself and do something that has meaning,” Craig says.
It wasn’t until he reached out to Wesley Vocational Institute that he started to feel hopeful.
Learning in a supportive environment
Both Chris and Craig shared that the support from their trainer, Maryanne, made all the difference.
“She was excellent – very warm and helpful. I can’t talk highly enough of her. You’re never embarrassed about asking any questions and she explained everything perfectly,” said Chris.
“At our work placements, Maryanne would turn up and was like our safety blanket,” explains Craig. “We knew that she was there for us.”
Maryanne works as a trainer who specialises in the disability care sector and she says that working with the learners has been a fulfilling journey.
“To see them turn up every week to learn and be able to achieve something they thought they would never be able to is actually really cool.
“And then all of a sudden, they don’t need me anymore – that’s really rewarding.”
For Craig and Chris, the small, group class setting also helped them learn at their own pace and get a more hands-on experience.
“You never felt you were getting behind. Everyone worked through it together,” says Chris.
Maryanne believes that the smaller groups provide a more supportive, inclusive environment.
Craig also adds that it helped them to get to know each other more and form meaningful friendships.
“We all gelled together really well. Even Maryanne, I feel like I’ve got her as my mentor for life.”
Quality training for every learner
Wesley Vocational Institute (WVI) group manager Garry explains why the training program is unique.
“I believe that one of our unique features stems from a culture of support, trust and respect. We simply enable learners to make an informed choice about their study option which begins the journey of them feeling empowered to be curious, to work hard, to ask for support if needed and ultimately, to make a positive change in their lives.”
He points out that the team’s unflinching commitment to people has resulted in WVI being recognised as a High Performing Provider by the NSW Department of Education.
Wesley Vocational Institute (RTO code 90091) offers nationally recognised VET qualifications, including certificates and diplomas in aged care, home care, disability, community services, mental health, hospitality, business and leadership and management. Our trainers at WVI support learners of all ages and from diverse backgrounds to be workplace ready and achieve their career goals.
A rewarding journey
Chris and Craig are grateful they’re now on the path to pursue their passion.
“I’m so happy and I jump out of bed to get to work,” says Chris. “This is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Chris continues, “I’ve actually found my calling. My life is so much brighter now that I’m supporting people.”
By working hard, the two learners successfully completed their CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and have started their new careers, helping others as disability support workers.