The Far West Local Health District’s School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs) program was today officially launched by the Hon. Melinda Pavey, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, on behalf of the Minister for Health, the Hon. Jillian Skinner.
SBATs are a Department of Education and Communities initiative providing Year 11 and 12 students with the opportunity to gain an industry recognised qualification and employment as part of their HSC.
“This is the first time the Far West Local Health District has offered School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships as an established program”, Ms Rebecca Heron-Dowling, Far West LHD Management Trainee said.
“The Program provides students with an exceptional opportunity to gain entry into the workforce and an industry recognised qualification while they are studying at school.
“We are also very grateful for the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, Melinda Pavey, to travel to Broken Hill to launch the scheme, on behalf of the Minister.”
Ms Heron-Dowling said the scope and depth of the program is a precedent for NSW Health and provides employment opportunities and development of skills of young people in our communities. “It will create pathways for young people wanting to go to university and or pursue careers within the health sector and builds the future workforce of the Far West LHD and service capacity.”
The Far West LHD SBATs program offered traineeships in Business Administration (medical), Health Services Assistance, Allied Health Assistance and Aboriginal Primary Health Care. Traineeships were offered in locations where the health service has capacity to support the students. In 2016 the Program will be expanded to include Dental Assisting.
Students from Balranald Central School, Broken Hill High School, Coomealla High School, Wilcannia Central School and Willyama High School will be appointed to traineeships in Business Administration (medical), Health Services Assistance and Allied Health Assistance.
The qualifications will be taught by TAFE NSW Riverina Institute using the LINC (Learning in Networked Communities) model that will enable the students and their trainers to maintain regular contact using a variety of different technologies.
The Far West LHD, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, and Department of Education and Communities will work closely with schools to ensure students are supported to successfully complete their chosen traineeship.
“The Program results from action taken by the Far West LHD to develop a resident and culturally appropriate workforce as envisioned in the District’s Strategic Plan and the Healthy Communities Implementation Plan, established under the Murdi Paaki Regional Assembly,” said Ms Heron-Dowling.
She said she was very pleased by the collaboration between the Far West LHD, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute, Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, Department of Education and Communities, the Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre, and Regional Development Australia to produce the Program.
“The launch of the Program is a great achievement for these organisations and I am very pleased that we have been able to provide our communities this exciting initiative.”
BACK (from left): NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Health, the Hon. Melinda Pavey, Samantha Renfrey (Balranald Central School), Director Public Schools NSW Far West Network, Trish Webb, Liam Farquhar (BH High School), Ryan Baker (BH High School), Jessica Thomas (BH High School), FWLHD Management Trainee, Rebecca Heron-Dowling and Director Community Services, Health and Education Pathways, NSW TAFE Riverina Institute, Anne Lowe. FRONT: Tearra Charles (Balranald Central School), Evelyn Dutton (Wilcannia Central School), Starcha Meehan (BH High School), Muriel Hunter (BH High School) and FWLHD Chief Executive, Stuart Riley. Absent: Shay-Ellen Mason (Willyama HS) and Georgia McKay (Coomealla HS).