Jobs growing in health and social service industry

"EVERY year we receive an increasing number of applications which shows me people want to work in the [carer] industry," Yvonne Matsan said.

"People get to about 45 or 50 who have worked in the corporate sector and find they want to give back."

She is speaking from experience as the regional manager for community services at disabilities services organisation Sunnyfield.

Ms Matsan manages the service's Day Options Program in Parramatta, where people with a disability can take part in art projects, excursions and other activities.

Sunnyfield also provides respite, accommodation, employment and drop-in support across NSW.

According to Western Sydney: An Economic Profile — a briefing paper published by Daniel Montoya in August 2012 — Ms Matsan was one of 90,752 people employed in health care and social assistance in western Sydney in May 2012.

A whopping 31,168 of those joined the sector between May 2006 and May 2012, to make it the fastest growing industry of employment for the period.

‘‘I started off with a small stint in corrective services 28 years ago,’’ Ms Matsan said.

Manufacturing was the only industry to lose jobs in western Sydney since 2006. It lost 1132 employees.

Sunnyfield chief executive Caroline Cuddihy said it was likely more people would be attracted to health care and social assistance as pay got higher. Pay rates for levels 2 to 8 for people covered by the Social, Community Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 will be increased by 19 to 41 per cent over eight years.

DID YOU KNOW?

8850people in the Parramatta local government area — the highest number — worked in the health care and social assistance industry in 2011

2424 of the above worked as community and personal service workers

6824 people in the Parramatta local government area — the second-highest number — worked in the manufacturing industry in 2011

■ Have you the joined the health care and social assistance industry since 2006? What prompted your decision?

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