Sarah Moore is encouraging others to follow her lead as local employment opportunities continue to grow in the community services industry.
The Moree mother-of-three studied a Certificate III and IV in Community Services at TAFE NSW to upskill and give her the practical, hands-on skills for her return to the workforce.
She is now working full-time at Maayu Mali Aboriginal Residential Rehabilitation Centre as a Drug and Alcohol Worker.
Maayu Mali Team Leader, Therese Stacey said there was a high demand for qualified social workers in the region.
"It takes a certain personality type to be able to work in the community services industry. They really have to have a strong connection to the local people and be able to communicate openly and transparently.
"A TAFE NSW qualification is looked upon favourably at Maayu Mali, as it is the perfect starting point for anyone looking to learn the practical skills and experience to be able to assist local people and their families."
Ms Moore said learning a broad range of practical skills from industry recognised teachers at TAFE NSW has helped her transition back into the workforce.
"I have learnt strategies to communicate with people, strong computer skills, how to be an advocate for others, working with a diverse range of people, case management and much more.
"The teachers at TAFE NSW were always able to help if I needed assistance. I believe there is enough supportive teachers at TAFE NSW to get you through your course no matter your literacy levels."
Ms Moore is taking her skills to the next level by studying a Diploma of Community Services online through TAFE Digital.
"I really enjoy the freedom of being able to study when and where it suits me around my work and family. Studying online with TAFE Digital has not only expanded my knowledge in community services, but it has increased my computer skills.
"Anyone thinking about a career change or upskilling should really consider studying at TAFE NSW. I have developed my confidence and the hands-on skills that I need to set me up for a successful career," she said.