The importance of training for industry workers

  • 28/08/2017
Maree Ireland
Support worker having a conversation with her client

Over the years I have had countless numbers of support workers enter my life to assist me with my daily living tasks. All workers have come from various agencies with the assumption that they have been trained and have the relevant knowledge and skills to work as a support worker.

Knowing that they have been trained gives me a sense of certainty that I can put a degree of faith in their abilities and that both the worker and I will be legally protected in the unlikely event of things going wrong or an accident occurs.

I have heard a number of people with disabilities say that they would prefer to employ untrained workers so that they can train them for their own personal needs and tasks. They would then have a verbal understanding of their roles and a friendly agreement to work things out if something went wrong.

When I first heard of this, I thought it sounded good and do-able. People with disabilities would say they could employ friends and their fellow students (who could do with the money). It still sounded do-able but something started to feel uncomfortable about it. Would I want friends or my fellow students assisting me with personal care? I have no doubt it would impact (negatively) on our relationship as friend or student. I know when I go out with friends, they will assist me, on the odd occasion, but not on an everyday basis, and I wouldn’t want that.

A further reason I think training is important is that as we mature and age gracefully, most likely, we will become more reliant on our support workers for physical support, as well as mental support. 

It will be imperative that I, and people who care about me, can be confident that my support workers are fully trained and competent in how they support me.

So for me, training for support workers is important and essential, both on a personal and legal level.

Victorian Disability Awards 2017

In July I was a member of the Judging Panel for the 2017 Victorian Disability Awards:  

The winners were announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 16 August at Zinc, Federation Square. 

More than 250 people came together to celebrate the achievements of all finalists who were recognised for their outstanding contributions to empower and include people with a disability. 

There were many highlights this year and the high standard of nominations meant that judging was very close. At the event, the inaugural Minister’s Award for Outstanding Leadership was presented to Dylan Alcott, elite athlete, media commentator and founder of Get Skilled Access. 

Three people were inducted into the Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll for their exceptional contribution to the disability sector over 20 years or more.

The youngest award winner, Year 12 student Bryce Pace, won the Emerging Leader Award for his work advocating for young people on the autism spectrum.

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