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The Gordon partners with health industry to deliver work-ready graduates

HSA Acute Care students Ali Cruickshank and Andy Betts in training at The GordonWorkforce shortages in the health sector are being combated through a partnership between The Gordon and local health providers with the introduction of a foundation course to support health staff in acute care.

Andy Betts who has recently completed the 20-week Certificate III in Health Services Assistance – Acute Care at The Gordon, was looking for a more personally fulfilling role.

“I wanted to help people on a daily basis and the HSA course was a great opportunity. The Gordon’s facilities were great to learn the basic skills ahead of placement, with St John of God providing the opportunity to take those skills and apply them in the acute care setting. I worked with an incredible medical team and the industry skills I have learned have prepared me for a position at the hospital.”

Dinie MacRae, Learning and Development Coordinator at St John of God Geelong Hospital (SJGGH), has welcomed the program which equips students with the hands-on experience they need to support patients in acute care under the supervision of professional health staff.

“Our nursing staff have really enjoyed mentoring and supporting students who are studying this tailored companion program. They take great pride in educating the students in demonstrating patient care in action.

“Patients often feel vulnerable during their stay in hospital, however the students provide an extra helping hand which enhances holistic health and general wellbeing.

“The program is perfect for people looking for foundation skills needed in a diverse range of health care settings that comply with infection prevention, workplace health and safety, medical terminology and basic patient support needs.”

Ms MacRae confirmed that about 70 per cent of current students intend to pursue further studies in health careers such as nursing and health administration, which is an intended and fabulous outcome for both the students, The Gordon and SJGGH.

Joanne Jones, Business Manager for the Centre of Health and Community Services at The Gordon explained that the TAFE plays and important role in skilling workers for the health industry.

“The relationship between The Gordon and our local industry partners supports both our students and our partners. The relationship enables open dialogue between industry and us as educators to ensure that we are delivering courses that prepare graduates with the knowledge and skills required for the job role. The work placement opportunities that our partners support our students with cements the student’s knowledge and skills in industry prior to graduating.”

The link between industry and students, facilitated by The Gordon, is an important collaboration in providing students with the confidence that their training will lead to employment.

“If we are to truly have an impact by producing graduates to meet the workforce shortage needs of our local health partners, it is crucial that we ensure our graduates have the knowledge and skills that align with their needs and job roles, so that they graduate job-ready” continued Ms Jones.

Mr Betts who returned to study to follow his passion aspires to continue developing his skills with a Diploma of Nursing.

“I was somewhat apprehensive about the experience leading up to returning to study as a mature aged student, but I’m so glad that I jumped in headfirst. It has been a very positive learning environment with a focus on the practical skills that have equipped me for a job in the healthcare industry.”

To learn more about a career in the health sector, visit