TAFE NSW Wetherill Park, in collaboration with Core Community Services and South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), is delivering a tailored training program to help refugees and migrants land jobs in the in-demand healthcare industry.
The targeted program is designed to not only meet local skills needs, but also enrich the healthcare landscape with a diverse pool of talent. It comes as the 2021 Census shows South West Sydney has 63,674 refugees and migrants, a much higher proportion than the rest of Sydney.
Throughout the program, students gain a TAFE NSW Statement of Attainment in Operating Theatre Assistant - Nursing, participate in tailored workshops, and undergo work placement at Liverpool Hospital, so they can hit the ground running after graduating.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Nursing Studies, Monica Hourmozi said the program is designed to foster inclusivity and diversity in the community, while helping to meet growing demand for skilled workers.
“Migrants and refugees relocating to Australia bring with them a wealth of knowledge. Many of the participants in the program come from medicine, teaching, and engineering backgrounds, and they are now looking to upskill for a career locally,” Ms Hourmozi said.
“The Statement of Attainment gives students the practical and theoretical skills they need to work in a hospital setting and contribute effectively to patient care. Upon completion of the course, they can go on to work as an Operating Assistant or progress to the Certificate III in Health Services, followed by the Diploma of Nursing.”
Training is delivered through weekly face-to-face practical training at TAFE NSW Wetherill Park and Fairfield Hospital, with the program expected to run each year. SWSLHD also delivers workshops covering tips for resumes, applying for roles, and job interviews. The program’s next intake is in Term 1, 2024.
36-year-old Canley Heights local Rafed Esa is one of 16 recent graduates of the program. After working as a nurse in his home country Iraq, he decided to take advantage of the program to gain local knowledge.
“I came to Australia from Iraq in 2019 as a refugee. I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and worked as a nurse for 10 years in Iraq. I loved working in the sector so jumped at the opportunity to study at TAFE NSW,” Mr Esa said.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping others, and after completing the Statement of Attainment I am now progressing to the Certificate III in Individual Support so I can develop my skills further.”
Graduates of previous training programs work in administration roles at Fairfield and Liverpool Hospitals.
Fairfield Hospital General Manager Paul Crowe said both the local health district and the local community benefit from the program.
“South Western Sydney Local Health District recognises there is a diverse pool of talent that is enhanced by the programs developed and delivered locally by TAFE NSW. By learning new skills and gaining experience local people become skilled to care for their community at the local hospital. This has long-term health benefits for these individuals as they can gain employment and manage their financial freedom to support their families,” Mr Crowe said.
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