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Be flexible, patient, pivot, cough into your elbow, and wash your hands. These are just some of the takeaways from 2020 — and we’re not even finished yet. If you ever needed some time to reflect on what you want to be doing with your life, this is it.

Kim Mulroney, former primary school and adult literacy and numeracy teacher from Ipswich, used the opportunity to take stock, and embrace this unprecedented year as a new beginning. The fallout from COVID-19 prompted Kim to make a career move from teaching into community services, where she could live her caring values in a new way.

“I was made redundant in March as a result of an internal restructure and no other suitable position was available in the organisation. I’m in my early fifties so decided I would finally choose the area I would like to work — a different vocation, but where I could still be passionate and caring,” Kim said.

“I have a passion for working with people who require assistance to live their best life; I am open-minded and non-judgemental, and I’m all about helping people achieve their goals no matter how big or small,” Kim explained.

After coming to terms with her month-long volunteering trip to South Africa being postponed due to COVID, and to offer a nice distraction from her redundancy, Kim enrolled in the Community Care Skill Set (SSCHC0004). The training suited Kim perfectly, being offered flexibly and online through Zoom training sessions.

“I’m a bit of an introvert so I enjoyed learning in the comfort of my own home. A lot of the concepts were already familiar to me, but it was good to have trainers who could provide real-life community care scenarios and solutions. They also offered extra assistance to students when required — they were very understanding and made themselves available.”

After developing a comprehensive knowledge of current and emerging community care practices through her skill set, Kim is enjoying looking after clients and plans to become a support worker in the future.

Kim credits TAFE Queensland for helping her quickly build her skills and confidence in a new area.

“I would recommend the course if people find themselves in the same position as me. I would also recommend the skill sets as they help to keep your mind occupied whilst you adjust to the loss of a job or career.”

As the state’s largest and most experienced provider of vocational education and training (VET), TAFE Queensland is playing a critical role in Queensland’s recovery from the pandemic.

Skill sets like Kim's were developed in close consultation with both industry and government to provide Queenslanders with valuable skills to retrain in areas of high demand.

These skill sets are fully subsidised by the Queensland Government and are available to Queensland residents who have been impacted by COVID-19.

View subsidised skill sets

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