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2015, Year of Success!

Celebrating Successes of Vocational Education and Training Initiatives in Health and Community Services

The Health Sector VET Engagement Working Party (HSVEWP) formed in January 2015 with a few enthusiastic individuals coming together to talk about ‘what we could do’ to strengthen and promote pathways and opportunities for individuals and employers alike, to break down the barriers and to encourage access to Vocational Education and Training, building a stronger health workforce for Queensland.

Since then, we have been joined by more and more motivated and engaged individuals and have shared our work and successes along the way.

Here’s a few highlights we’ve seen in 2015 as shared by our members:

Amanda Griffiths from My Health Career hit the ground running early in the year and continued to sprint her way right through 2015. Inspiring young people to consider careers in health, Amanda has been in hot demand attending dozens of career expo’s across multiple States. In between the various invitations to health career promotion events, Amanda has been head down putting together easy to follow and very informative career pathway infographics – check them out at https://www.myhealthcareer.com.au/pathways/.

The Training and Skills Division – Metropolitan Region, Department of Education and Training (DET), under the talents of Amanda Sycz and Lynette Taylor, amongst others, have seen great success with more school to work transition programs. The health industry focussed AllevE8 program increases in popularity with each round, based primarily on the successes of each program before. These programs are set up with a win-win focussed approach. Employers have the opportunity to meet and work with students over 20 weeks of unpaid structured work placement (20 days total), using this time as a potential screening process for future prospective staff. At the same time the student earns their qualification (Certificate II in Health Support), whilst completing their High School studies and gaining exposure and first-hand experience in their chosen career. For more information about AllevE8 please contact [email protected] .  Further information on other VET programs is available at http://education.qld.gov.au/students/placement/vet/.

The Health Pathways teams across all regions have been generating sensational outcomes through innovative models of VET engagement.

Barry Dowling working across the Gold Coast/Logan regions offers two day Health Inspiration events where students considering a career in health get all the details about what it means to work in the industry. The success is not just about who stays on and pursues a training opportunity and qualification, but about exposing students early enough so that if it’s not for them, they have not wasted time and resources on a career that doesn’t suit. This is another program that continues to grow in popularity with each round, and with a dedicated health training hub opening at Mabel Park State High School, there’s bound to be more exciting opportunities for the community in these regions in 2016! For more information visit http://www.healthpathwaysqld.com.au/health-inspirations-day/ .

A 2015 Queensland Training Award Finalist, the Health Pathways Alliance (HPA) has been proudly founded and funded by the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service since 2011. The first established HPA continues to create healthy futures across the Ipswich and West Moreton region with unmatched passion and enthusiasm. Throughout 2015, the HPA team hosted eight Health Inspirations Days, spoke with more than 2,000 students and hosted its first Health Industry Overview Day with multiple partners providing educators the opportunity to learn about the diversity of careers in the health industry. A summary of the highlights of this day can be read here:  http://www.busyatwork.com.au/news/216565/Successful-Industry-Overview-for-secondary-schools-at-Ipswich . This interactive one day overview is just an example of the hands on approach that has been working so well in this region, and others. The Health Pathways Alliance has provided a variety of innovative, interactive ways to promote health careers; assisting and inspiring young people to pursue a rewarding career in health. Read more here http://www.qt.com.au/news/career-path-opens/2771497/.

Career Development Practitioner Julie Rogan, has been working with The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) to offer free advice on career development and education opportunities to those who are eligible. The Choices: Pathways and Partnerships Project is funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Higher Education Participation Program (HEPP) to improve the access, participation and success of students from communities under-represented in higher education.  In August 2015, a small cluster of USQ staff visited Cherbourg in Queensland’s South Burnett region, to host information sessions for local indigenous people regarding careers in health; be it continuing with further education to progress existing careers or entry level qualifications to start a career in health and help support the local community’s health services. By all accounts a great success with a promising future in the ‘watch this space’ zone! For more information about the Choices Program visit https://www.usq.edu.au/about-usq/about-us/social-justice/current-projects/Choices.

Mr Harry Pitt the Director of Torres Strait Islander Consultancy (TSIC) offers a diverse range of products and services to stakeholders, organisations and community groups. Torres Strait Islander Consultancy welcomes the opportunity of assisting the pathways and linkages to provide a culturally safe, inclusive and appropriate service. 100% Indigenous owned TSIC offers a fee for service and managers a number of portfolios ranging from early childhood to palliative care.

The Health Sector VET Engagement team hope to consult with Harry to inform the development of meaningful and culturally sound materials to promote VET opportunities and career paths to Torres Strait Islander people, specific to the health sector. Contact Harry for further information at [email protected] or 0413 098 571.

The Workforce Council and the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (DATSIP) have commenced a project looking to secure eight traineeship positions for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jobseekers across DATSIPs SEQ North Region (Gympie, Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Somerset, Brisbane and Redlands) through the Youth Employment Program. Rachel Pierce and Peter Browne from DATSIP approached the Workforce Council after a very successful project DATSIP completed with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in 2014 whereby 25 individuals completed Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care and went on to either employment, or further study. We are hoping to replicate this success and are pleased with the level of interest to date. For more information or to express your interest, please contact Kelly Kerwitz at the Workforce Council [email protected] or Peter Browne at DATSIP [email protected].

Collectively, over the last year, this group have committed their time to reflect, discuss and explore how we can better engage health (and community services) providers to the VET sector. The opportunities and benefits are clear to see and with anticipated growth in the coming years like never seen before, upskilling your staff, and indeed recruiting by way of traineeship positions, is becoming the way of the future.

For more information about options that may be suitable for you, or your service, including funded programs through the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the VET Investment Plan, contact Kelly Kerwitz at the Workforce Council [email protected] or 1800 112 585.