GRLLEN & Skilling the Bay recognised for industry collaboration
A program operating in Geelong, has been recognised for outstanding industry collaboration. The Growing the Health & Community Services Workforce program, a collaboration between Skilling the Bay and the Geelong Region LLEN, was one of three finalists in the Industry Collaboration category of the Victorian Training Awards, which were held last Friday evening.
Organisations like St John of God, Barwon Health and genU are behind the program to grow the health and community services workforce.
Skilling the Bay at Gordon TAFE and the Geelong Region Local Learning & Employment Network have teamed up to forge a pipeline of new young workers for the sector.
Health and Social Assistance is the largest employing sector in Geelong and Australia with over 1.5 million people employed in the industry nationally. The ageing population and the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is contributing to the rapid rate of growth.
The Growing the Health & Community Services Workforce program targets students while they are still at school and provides them with direct exposure to a large variety of jobs in the health and community services sector. About 300 years 10 - 12 students from across Geelong are involved in the program every year.
Students can go on to further study and careers knowing they have chosen the right pathway. Employers can be confident that they have a strong pool of well-prepared young people for entry level jobs. Student numbers undertaking School based Traineeships have doubled, and many who were at risk of dropping out of school have continued onto a community services or health pathway.
“This program helps support the workforce requirements of Barwon Health by increasing awareness of career opportunities for young people and engaging them in education and training pathways. It is important that our workforce represents the diversity of the community it serves,” says Jacinta Kenny, Workforce Advisor at Barwon Health.
Robyn Dolheguy, Project Manager, agrees about the effectiveness of the program to address workforce needs. “Last year, 82% of students said they wanted to pursue a career in health and community services when they leave school. Young people need to have an opportunity to see for themselves. The LLEN is committed to good career development and works with employers to provide quality experiences and training.”
The program started with backing from the Department of Health in 2011.