Health graduates visit region

A PARTNERSHIP between StudyAdelaide and Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast aims to introduce international students studying health and allied health to prospective employers in the Limestone Coast.

Around 50 international students and graduates hit the road on Wednesday, as part of the Future Healthcare Workers Limestone Coast Tour – a three-day tour of Kingston, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Keith.

The tour will allow graduates to meet representatives from local hospitals, nursing homes, regional health networks, and local government, to discuss employment opportunities.

South Australian regional health and care providers are facing significant skills shortages as highlighted in the recent Aged Care Royal Commission.

The latest figures from StudyAdelaide indicate that around 54pc of international students intend to live and work in South Australia after completing their studies, with half of those willing to explore moving to regional SA.

StudyAdelaide chief executive Karyn Kent said StudyAdelaide and Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast had received overwhelming interest in the tour from both students and employers.

“More than 830 students registered an interest in the Limestone Coast visit, and we have a waitlist for future tours to the Limestone Coast and other regions,” Ms Kent said.

“Our research indicates that more than 50 pc of international students would consider working in a regional area outside of Adelaide.

Therefore, on the one hand, we have thousands of students keen to find employment and willing to look outside of greater Adelaide.

And on the other hand, we have major regional employers dealing with skills shortages and gaps in their workforce.”

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast chief executive David Wheaton said he was excited to be working with StudyAdelaide to facilitate the connection between prospective newcomers to the region and local employers.

“The Limestone Coast is currently experiencing great demand for health care workers, region wide,” he said.

“By partnering with StudyAdelaide and the local councils, we are able to provide the students with information and opportunities that our region offers, which will hopefully lead them to consider working and living here permanently,”

Ms Kent said the program was a win-win situation all round.

“International students both gain employment – often in sectors that would otherwise have skills shortages – and create employment – with every three international students in South Australia creating one local job,” she said.

Students will meet representatives from the Limestone Coast Regional Health Network, Allied Health providers, local aged care facilities, and major regional hospitals: including Kingston, Naracoorte and Millicent.