Former flight attendant Jack among hundreds now flying high in new aged care jobs

As a Virgin Australia and Qantas cabin crew member, busily flying long-haul to destinations like Los Angeles and Hong Kong, Jack Hendri had not considered a career in the aged care sector.

new jobs story 500Now he’s one of 418 new recruits at HammondCare since March 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions destroyed the employment opportunities available in many other industries.

Jack had worked with Virgin Australia doing both domestic and international flights for three years before securing his dream job with Qantas International Long Haul. However on the final week of the Qantas 6-week training course in March, he was stood down.

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Jack, 31, is now happy at HammondCare At Home as a navigator three days a week, answering calls from HammondCare At Home clients, their loved ones or others seeking information in a home care package.

“It’s a brand new industry for me and I am delighted to be learning new things. It’s all good,” Jack said.

There may not be the charm of a layover between flights at California’s Newport Beach, but he’s also not faced with managing economy class passengers “fazed” about their seat allocation or reheated omelets. At HammondCare, Jack said he is working with a “great team” and manager.

HammondCare Workforce Planning Manager, Ben Leow, said the onset of COVID-19 generated an increase in applications, including candidates from industries who may not have previously considered aged care as a career.

HammondCare has been pleased with wider spectrum of candidates expressing interest.

“We have been able to attract pilots, cabin crew, hospitality staff, fitness instructors and so on,” Ben said.

Another new starter, Eren Harmer, 47, recently started as a special dementia carer at HammondCare Darlinghurst. after years as a bus driver first with State Transit and more recently coach operator Murrays.

Now, instead of taking pensioner groups on tours to the Hunter Valley, he is working with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. As a committed Christian, Eren wanted to find work where he can give back to vulnerable people.

“Because of my faith, I wanted to be able do what I can to care for people,” Eren said. “I love it and can’t believe I did not do it sooner. I really get a buzz out of working with people who can’t really look after themselves.”

Ben said feedback from the broader range of applicants now approaching HammondCare for employment is that health and aged care as a career is not well understood. Previously these applicants considered an aged care job as a means to an end.

“However, as they learn more about the type of work in aged care, they can see more opportunities and that it can be a strong career option,” he said.

HammondCare presently has positions to fill including community care workers in number of regional and metropolitan locations, Dementia Centre consultants, an Events Coordinator at St Leonards and a Nurse Unit Manager – Greenwich Hospital. For details about present job opportunities with HammondCare, click here.