Strengthening School Industry Engagement in Health industry
*Speaker 1 – Gail Timmers, Executive Officer (Past) NE Track LLEN, Executive Officer, North Central LLEN*
Ten years ago I attended a meeting involving Northeast Health and GOTAFE. At that meeting it was the skill shortages, both current and impending, in Health and Community Services that was a major issue. We as a LLEN saw this is an opportunity to work with Northeast Health and ultimately GOTAFE and schools to provide pathways into health for young people in this region.
*Speaker 2 – Tim Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer/Deputy CEO, Northeast Health Wangaratta*
Having the skills within regional Victoria is a bit of a challenge and certainly you know we are starting to experience staff shortages. So having pathways through the schools is extremely important and also having pathways within the organization to develop up and transition is critical as well.
*Gail Timmers. Includes clinical training scenes*
This particular program at Northeast health was one of the first in the state, and unique in a number of ways. I mean students were basically treated as hospital staff and the students were exposed to the breadth of opportunities across the whole of northeast health.
*Speaker 3 -Hannah Tweedale, Student, Wangaratta. Includes clinical training scenes *
I'm studying a Certificate Three in individual support which will be a PCA at Illoura Aged Care facility. The best thing about working at Illoura is the training that you need to know and they will teach you different and new things. It's going to help at the end of year twelve when I finish school and I can go and work in aged care and then it will help with nursing. So I already have some skills
*Speaker 4 - Dianne Ward, School Based Programs Coordinator, Northeast Health Wangaratta. Includes logistics workplace*
The staff are really crucial to the success of the program at the hospital. They mentor, they provide the training in the skills in the workplace that the students need for this particular certificate that they’re undertaking.
*Speaker 5 – Jacqui Verdon, Team Leader Student Programs, Northeast Health Wangaratta. Includes logistics workplace
So that they're being mentored in a way that they can identify pathways to get places, but also the possibilities.
If they can be exposed to an enormous variety of professions at a young age it informs the choices for the future.
Kids often think 'Health' is nurses and doctors. But in this case we saw examples of kids that started to look at some of the allied health areas, physiotherapy, those sorts of things. We saw the outcome of kids going from their first year into the second year and the high percentage that then went on to do further study and careers in the Health and Community Services area.
*Speaker 6 – Gary Fletcher, Principal, Wangaratta High School. Includes clinical training scenes *
Schools are finding it very difficult and challenging to say, "What are the future needs of the workforce moving on?" So, what does a hospital need? We can’t make assumptions about what that need is. So, one of our pieces of work is this program, and it's why it is so important and successful - it is the partnership between the community, and the school, and the workforce here. So the organisation of the hospital are working with us to say these are our needs and they offer us a support in terms of saying these are the VET work places we’ve got that we can offer. They can link in to us and so we've got a partnership to educate each other about our needs - are we offering what the kids need moving forward?
Since the commencement of the traineeships in 2014, the School Based Traineeships have been extremely beneficial in encouraging and guiding local students to explore career health pathways. As a result of that we've had, in the three years, 24 students have participated in the program and graduated. And the real benefit of that is that Northeast Health has been a direct recipient of that and we have actually employed a number of these students into Business Administration, Supply and Logistics roles. Additionally, many of these students have gone on to further education in health career pathways, but also some have been directly employed in to local employers. Again, a fantastic benefit.
*Jacqui Verdon. Includes street scenes*
I guess as a workforce development program it enables us to address some of our workforce issues and recruitment to specific areas within the organisation. It also enables us to grow young people within our community who will hopefully stay local.
It is critical that NEH has school based traineeship programs like these because we need to grow our own and develop the work force in the future for the long term sustainability of the health service.