According to the Australian Government’s Jobs Outlook website, there are likely to be around 12,000 new animal attendant and training positions become available across the country until 2023. A love of all creatures great and small has inspired an Orange local to pursue his dream career in the industry.
To get a head start, Keagan Paine studied a Certificate II in Animal Care at TAFE NSW while he was completing his HSC. His foresight proved to be a masterstroke, with Keagan gaining full-time employment at Orange RSPCA Shelter as an animal attendant soon after graduating high school.
Keagan said, “All my life I’ve always loved animals, I grew up with at least one pet in the household.
“When I did work experience at Mulberry Lane Vet Hospital in Year 10, I knew I wanted to work with animals, so I enrolled at TAFE NSW in Animal Studies as a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) student the next year and the rest is history,” he said.
“I enjoyed studying at TAFE NSW more than I did studying in high school – what I was taught was clear, concise, easily digestible, engaging and very hands-on which gave me the skills I needed to work in the industry.
“I absolutely love working with the animals at the RSPCA shelter. Helping them get into an adoptable state is a very rewarding experience. I treat them like my own pets – they get unlimited love and affection.”
Orange RSPCA Shelter Manager, Rita Perkons, believes Keagan should inspire other people to pursue a career working with animals.
“Keagan has a strong work ethic, tackles all tasks with enthusiasm and is confident with all animals that come through the shelter.
“Whenever I am seeking new staff, I look for applicants who have a Certificate II in Animal Studies or similar qualification at least. It is very difficult to find people with these qualifications and the right experience despite there being lots of great opportunities out there.”
TAFE NSW Orange Animal Studies Teacher, Jenna McAtamney, added, “Being able to watch Keagan realise his dream, getting paid for doing something he loves makes my job of being a teacher really rewarding.
“Keagan is a fine example that industry and local businesses trust the training provided to TAFE NSW students, and the skills we provide lead to exciting, real-life employment opportunities.”
For more information on a range of Animal Studies courses at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.