A group of 43 local senior high school students have started School Based Traineeships (SBT) this February thanks to a collaboration between the Central Coast Local Heath District (CCLHD) and TAFE NSW.
The school based traineeships will see students take on a two-year program in Business Studies, Allied Health or Health Services Assistance.
Acting Director of Workforce for CCLHD, Ian Arnold, said the SBT Program gave young people who were interested in a career in health the opportunity to gain valuable work skills and experience at Gosford and Wyong hospitals while still at high school.
“This is the sixth year of the program and we are proud of the opportunities it has provided for young local people to gain practical, hands-on experience in health,” Arnold said.
“The program is part of our strategy to make sure we have the right people to care for the health of our community well into the future.
“It is a great opportunity for talented individuals to start their rewarding career in health,” he added.
The program first began with the aim of creating more employment and career development opportunities for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The program is now open to non-Aboriginal participants to apply, while retaining its core purpose of creating priority employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for placements.
“In previous years participating students have gained hands-on experience in many roles within the District from our operating theatres to workforce customer service.
“Many students have gone on to secure permanent employment in these areas,” Arnold said.
“The program continues to expand each year and create more exciting career paths for students who may be planning a future in health.
“We will continue to engage with local students, with the aim of increasing Aboriginal representation across clinical, non-clinical and leadership roles within the District.”
The trainees will work at least one day a week over the next two years under the supervision of District staff and receive an income while learning new skills in the health sector. The program also involves theory-based learning at the TAFE NSW Gosford Campus.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George, said the students will receive a nationally recognised Certificate III qualification on successful completion of their traineeship, in addition to their higher school certificate, while being supported to access further career opportunities within the District.
“This exciting partnership between TAFE NSW and the District promotes Vocational Education and Training (VET) opportunities available on the Central Coast to industry, schools and the community as a fantastic pathway into a great career,” George said.
“Local partnerships such as these will drive local apprenticeships and traineeships and build industry engagement in local schools.
“This improves the sentiment around local youth employment opportunities while having a positive effect on the local economy.
“Importantly, our students, apprentices and trainees can earn while they learn, as they train for the jobs of the future,” George said.
Depending on their focus, the TAFE NSW qualifications students will graduate with are either a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Assisting in nursing work in acute care), a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance or a Certificate III in Business Administration.
Terrigal High School student, Kiera Dwyer, is looking forward to completing a Certificate III in Business Administration over the next two years, with one day of work experience per week in the area of customer service.
“Most people don’t know what they want to do at 16, so it’s wonderful to have this opportunity,” Dwyer said.
“I feel like it’s my first real step into life.
“I’ll learn how to be more independent, how to balance the demands of work and school, and how to work in a team.
“I can’t wait to meet lots of new and different people, and make great contacts for the future said,” she said.
Media release, Feb 11
Sharna Ryan, Central Coast Local Heath District