Here’s what we know:
On Sunday the 28th of August 2022, Daniel Andrews published an announcement stating that his government is standing with the healthcare industry by pledging $270 million towards funding nursing and midwifery degrees to cover the current staff shortages.
This means that roughly 10,000 students will have their studies covered by this government incentive. Students in Victoria who enrol in nursing or midwifery programs in 2023/2024 will be provided with $9000 upfront, with the balance of their HECS reimbursed once they’ve worked in the state’s public health system for two years.
Some potential implications:
There are several ways to look at this news.
On the one hand, it goes without saying that an initiative that encourages locals to serve their communities in industries that are severely short-handed is great. It’s also better late than never.
But is it that simple?
These students wouldn’t be joining the workforce for at least a couple of years, leaving the current system in desperate need of a short-term solution as well. Furthermore, an influx of junior staff adds additional pressure to senior staff members who represent a majority of the industry’s exodus. As a result, senior nurses and midwives may face additional pressures in training new graduates, while already carrying the weight of their current seniority.
Others suggest that funding could have been allocated to address wage issues across these traditionally “feminized” industries – improving compensation (and retention) of current professionals, rather than flooding the industry with more wages to pay. Perhaps funding could have been allocated to upskilling current nurses and midwives so they can move into more senior roles and relieve the pressure at the top.
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Will similar initiatives be made to address shortages in other states or industries? Will the federal government assist in this mission by incentivizing skilled migrants (who used to make up 40% of this workforce) back into these spaces? Time will tell.
These types of government initiatives are bound to spark heated debate.
A Call to Action:
So let’s focus on some positives: for recruitment agencies operating in the Victorian healthcare space, there is an influx of new graduates coming around the corner.
How you use your time now is essential to establishing an environment in which these nurses and midwives will want to build a long career. What can agencies do now to address candidate churn, and avoid any further damage in the “Great Resignation”?
Consider the user experience of your current workforce. How quick is the recruitment and onboarding process? Are there issues with your payroll?
Having software that maximizes your recruitment and retention is crucial to ensuring you can capitalize on this wave of new graduates when they hit the job market.
Now we want to hear from you. What do you think about this initiative?