Jack Lynch wasn't sure what to do with himself when he finished year 12, but has now found his calling - providing care and dignity to those in the later stages of life.
The former Junee abattoir worker weighed up several other jobs after completing his schooling, including working at the local McDonalds and as a dishwasher at the pub.
Feeling unfulfilled by those career prospects, he took a chance and secured a role as a support worker at the Junee Community Centre.
Jack turned to TAFE NSW so he could learn the necessary skills and knowledge to help him thrive in his new role and is finding great reward working in aged care.
His role sees him running errands for clients, taking them for days out, and even cleaning their homes.
"There are so many job opportunities and I also like the thought of being able to help vulnerable members of the community," Mr Lynch said.
Jack is one of a rare breed - according to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, less than 15 per cent of frontline aged care workers are male.
"It's... nice to be flying the flag for men in the industry because there are so few of us around," he said.
"For the older generation of women, it's quite a novelty to have a young man doing their dishes and changing their linen."
Mr Lynch is also part of a state government funded program where he and others clean the homes of hoarders and those living in squalor.
He said the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) course gave him the flexibility to balance his lifestyle and the skills necessary to make a running start to the job.
"Just learning the technical side of the job... - things like taking blood pressures and reading observational charts - made a huge difference," he said.
"My... teachers were so supportive and having the flexibility of studying much of my course online meant I didn't have to travel as much."
Teacher Katherine Doyle said TAFE's aged care students are in high demand because of the practical skills and workplace experience the course offers.
"Providing dignity and care to our older residents is one of the most important jobs anyone can do and there are so many job opportunities out there for our graduates," she said.
For more information on TAFE NSW click here.
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