With healthcare earmarked to be among the largest sectors of employment for Western Sydney residents, TAFE NSW is helping locals take their first step towards a career in allied health. In collaboration with J.P Morgan, TAFE NSW is running a First Step Program to introduce young locals to tertiary education and provide a pathway into meaningful jobs in healthcare and other industries including manufacturing and business administration.
First Step participant Noama Samar came to Australia in 2018 and said she saw great employment opportunities in Australia’s world-class healthcare system. Through the program, the 25-year-old has now enrolled in a Certificate III in Dental Assisting.
“I already had a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science from Pakistan, but I enrolled at TAFE NSW because I knew that with their industry connections and hands-on skills, I’d have a better chance at landing a job after my studies,” Noama said.
“I’ve really enjoyed the practical way teachers at TAFE NSW deliver content. I know it will help me when I’m in the workplace.”
“Not only do you gain an introduction to the sector, but we also learn crucial employment skills like how to sit an interview and soft skills like managing tasks.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Health and Fitness, Jason Adams, said it was a great time to pursue a career in the health sector.
“The healthcare industry is expected to expand in Western Sydney with the region’s population forecast to grow to 2.9 million, to house more than 50 per cent of the Greater Sydney Region’s population by 2036, increasing the need for allied healthcare services such as aged care,” Mr Adams said.
“The First Step Program is supporting local youth by providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to take advantage of local employment opportunities, and to pursue quality and sustainable career pathways, particularly in health sciences, key trades, and business studies.”
Australia and New Zealand CEO of J.P. Morgan, Robert Bedwell said J.P. Morgan has committed nearly $1 million to the First Step initiative in Australia.
“We are extremely proud to be working in partnership with TAFE NSW. The First Step program will target disadvantaged youth and provide them with personalised support and pre-vocational training aligned to Liverpool’s top three growth industries - health science, business studies and trades,” Mr Bedwell said.
TAFE NSW is calling on industry to collaborate on the First Step Program to provide further opportunities for students over the course of the three-year program.