Young people should consider the funeral industry as a legitimate career path — that is the message from Australian Funeral Directors Association WA senior vice-president Adrian Barrett.
Mr Barrett wants to break down the macabre stigma of the industry and encourage more teenagers to take up jobs.
‘‘When I studied in Canada there were 120 people in the class and more than half of them were straight from school,’’ Mr Barrett said.
‘‘People think of the funeral industry as an older person’s job but it is a great job for young people.’’
Mr Barrett has been working in the long-established family business, William Barrett & Sons, since he was 17.
‘‘I never thought I would do this job, I intended to go to university but I discovered I really liked the job,’’ he said.
Mr Barrett is hoping vocational education and training will be introduced for teenagers who want a start in the business.
Ben Andrew is the business’ youngest funeral director at age 27 and said he enjoyed working with people and families in what is often their darkest hours.
‘‘It is a very rewarding career,’’ Mr Andrew said.
‘‘We deal with the dead, not the dying — there is a big difference and while it can be a challenging environment it is also joyous.’’
‘‘You are the last person to look after someone and no two services are the same.’’