Healthcare students meet with local health employers and councils

EXCITING TIMES: Mayor Graham Excell and Anne Champness at a meet and greet event last Wednesday night. PHOTO: Elisabeth Champion
EXCITING TIMES: Mayor Graham Excell and Anne Champness at a meet and greet event last Wednesday night. PHOTO: Elisabeth Champion

The Limestone Coast could become home to up to 50 new skilled health workers, following a successful study tour of the region last week.

StudyAdelaide and Regional Development Australia teamed up to bring migrant healthcare and allied health students on a study tour, where they met with local health employers and councils.

The students visited Kingston, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Keith, spoke with local employers and toured local health facilities.

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Limestone Coast chief executive officer David Wheaton said he was hopeful the tour would attract young migrant workers to fill vacancies in the health industry.

"Our region needs to find 2000 workers by 2026 just to keep up with where we are up," Mr Wheaton said.

"With baby boomers going into retirement and young people moving away to the city, we have more jobs than we have people so we need to keep working on bringing people into the region to fill those vacancies or our industries and businesses are not working at full capacity.

"We are hearing pretty regularly from places that they would put on another shift, open longer hours if they could find the workers.

"We will be tracking them all, keeping in touch with them, and there will be quite a lot of follow-up now to happen, matching up CVs with employers and that sort of thing."

According to RDA, since the first of February, there have been 3398 jobs advertised in the Limestone Coast, with 714 in the health or allied health industry, from a total of 529 advertisements.

Meeting with the students at a special meet and greet event in Naracoorte was Tatiara District Council Mayor Graham Excell and chief executive officer Anne Champness.

Mr Excell said it was great to be involved and he was hopeful some of the students would return to work.

"A lot of these students are very interested in seeing what we've got and very interested in meeting some of our employers," he said

"There are a lot of jobs, the biggest problem is housing, but our medical services need employees, all our businesses need employers - we are running at about 2.4 per cent unemployment so there are jobs galore.

Mr Excell said he is excited about what is happening in the Tatiara's health sector.

"Limestone Coast Country Health are looking at the Keith Hospital and the way that will be managed and run and we have an exciting building project going on in the medical hub, which will hopefully work in with Country Health on that one as well," he said.

"It's exciting times here, and all the students that came up and spoke to us are very excited, they didn't know what we had here."