Craig makes a life-changing career shift from the building industry to the disability sector.
For 38 years Craig Spaulding worked as a carpenter and joiner, until a few years ago when he sustained an injury that prevented him from continuing on in his building career. Craig eventually commenced a Certificate II in Community Services but, at the time, he was unsure of the type of work he would be able to do and where he could potentially find that work.
Craig and his wife have been foster carers for over 25 years and occasionally attend events related to foster caring. They met a manager from Life Without Barriers while attending an appreciation lunch for foster carers in Northern Tasmania and chatted about career possibilities. Craig subsequently met with the local disability team and it was not long before he was employed as a Disability Support Worker/ Mentor. At that point, Craig had no professional or personal experience with people living with a disability.
Craig describes his initial transition to working in the disability sector as an experience that has been both eye opening as well as immensely rewarding. “I was provided with all the training I needed,” says Craig. “And I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally.” Craig currently works across a range of disability programs including Life Without Barriers’ centre-based service, the Hub, and provides one-on-one support to a number of young people in the community.
“For me, the highlight of working in the disability sector is the relationships I have developed with the people I support and the opportunity to work with a team supporting people with disability,” says Craig.
“I would have never considered a career move before I got injured, but now I feel really lucky to be working with people living with a disability and making a difference.”
Employment opportunities in the disability sector are likely to increase as a result of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Life Without Barriers aims to attract a diverse range of staff and to encourage students to consider a career in the disability sector.
“We encourage anyone who may be interested in a change of career to contact us about the opportunities available,” says Northern Tasmania based Regional Manager Melinda Ferrier. “If you share our values of building relationships, and being imaginative, respectful, responsive and courageous, and if you want to work as part of a team that makes a difference, then give as a call.”
For more information about employment opportunities in the disability sector with Life Without Barriers in Tasmania, call 03 6337 3800 or send an email to HR_Tasmania@lwb.org.au
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