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Community services jobs sector continues to grow

Jess and Nic from Odyessy House_Community ServicesIn a post-COVID employment market, people have had the opportunity to reflect on their work life and professional aspirations. For many, there has been a fundamental shift as they realise the importance of connecting with their community.

Jess Tomleins was looking for a career that made a difference and made her feel good about herself.

“I made a conscious decision to change careers from hairdressing and was ready to make a difference. I wanted to do something to help people,” said Jess, Odyssey House care and recovery coordination and overdose prevention clinician.

“I started with The Gordon in Certificate III in Community Services to build my study skills and then moved into my diploma. Through my placement at Odyssey House, I was fortunate enough to find the perfect job,”
said Jess.

Nic Morgan, Odyssey House Victoria Team Leader Intensive Support Services, is a great advocate of the work The Gordon does to ensure graduates are job-ready. 

“We have employed three Gordon graduates over the past 18 months. We’re introduced to them on work placement and we can see how they could work with our team here at Odyssey. Gordon students come to us with high skill levels. They are motivated and compassionate and refreshingly very open-minded. They are open to learning and keen to put their learnings into practice.”

“Jess just hit the ground running. She asks all the right questions. She is passionate and brings new ideas to our workplace. Seasoned staff members have benefited from working with Jess,”
continued Nic.

“We see service seekers with complex needs related to substance abuse. You need certain emotional and educational skill sets to work in this field. We are always looking for graduates who are open to continuous learning and development,'' Nic said.  

Findings from the Human Services Workforce Forum Report released in March 2022 found that welfare support worker roles would grow from 73,000 in 2020 to 80,500 by 2025. 

“The job opportunities in the community services sector, including disability and youth work, are in high demand. There has never been a better time to study. In addition, all community service programs are a part of the Victorian Government’s Free TAFE initiative, so you are not out of pocket for tuition fees,” said Cassandra Langdon, Community Services Vocational Education Manager at The Gordon.

“We have wonderful working relationships with local community service providers in the region. Our students often find jobs whilst being on work placement. It’s great to see the students learn and grow during placement and to have the opportunity to apply for these roles.

“I am so proud of students like Jess. We got to watch her journey, coming to us as a fresh-faced student with strong ideals. It is beautiful to see she is now in the perfect role to be a confident clinician.

“The reason I moved into teaching was to see higher-educated workers entering the sector. We say to anyone unsure about the study, come and talk to us and we can help you find a course to suit you,”
Cassandra continued. 

Register for the community services information session on Tuesday, 17 January, at 5 pm at the Geelong City Campus at, where you can find out more about your career path options.