A not-for-profit organisation on the NSW Central Coast has begun offering traineeships to local high school students in a bid to bolster its future workforce.

Peninsula Villages is working in partnership with local high school Brisbane Water Secondary College to offer students School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs)

“Residential aged care providers like us here at Peninsula Villages are increasingly partnering with state departments of education to provide school-based traineeships with the aim of attracting young workers,” said Peninsula Villages Chief Executive Officer, Shane Neaves.

School based apprenticeships and traineeships provide students with the opportunity to attain a nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification as well as their Higher School Certificate (HSC) and gain valuable work skills and experience through paid employment.

School-based apprentices and trainees are on the job for approximately one day each week, with a minimum placement of 100 days over Year 11 and Year 12.

“We are entering our eighth year of partnership with Brisbane Water Secondary College to offer direct career opportunities for school students at Peninsula Villages.”

“We currently have a number of school based apprentices employed who are in year 12 and are completing a Certificate III in Allied Health or Health Service Assistance as part of their Higher School Certificate,” Mr Neaves said.

One of Peninsula Villages school based trainees who completed the program in 2016 is Jaclyn Ross who undertook a Certificate III in Allied Health.

“As a Brisbane Water Secondary College student from the Woy Woy campus, Jaclyn was placed with us as part of her traineeship and worked within our facilities for some time.”

“Since completing her traineeship, Jaclyn has now become a casual employee at Peninsula Villages and a valuable member of the team who works with the other care staff and our residents within our aged care facilities, Jack Aldous House, Pam Palmer House and Don Leggett House.”

“Peninsula Villages has formed a great relationship with the Woy Woy campus of the Brisbane Water Secondary College to promote the benefits of a career within the health and aged care sector that has seen increased interest in these traineeships with students each year.”

Partnering with schools and showing students the benefits of working in the industry is just one way in which providers can proactively help to change the image of aged care, Neaves says.

“It is essential we support the aged care sector by promoting it as a viable and appealing career option. We need to meet the needs of our local community now and ensure that in ten years’ time, we don’t face a skills shortage.”