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School acts to negate aging local workforce

(l-r) Tenisha Guilford and Keely Burden

With business and community leaders having long been concerned by the droves of young people leaving the Sunshine Coast to pursue educational and career opportunities further afield, local school Kawana Waters State College is taking steps to keep youngsters in the region and negate the ongoing trend towards an aging local workforce.
Kawana Waters Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jo Hall said there was a distinct lack of people in the 20 to 35 years demographic residing on the Sunshine Coast, and this trend would need to be counteracted for the region’s economy to prosper in future years.
“The development of the Kawana town centre and health precinct is the first step in creating a thriving economy, but it’s also incredibly important that our schools are implementing initiatives that encourage young people to pursue educational and career opportunities in the coast region,” Ms Hall said.
Kawana Waters State College (KWSC) Principal Paul Williamson said in previous years, numerous young people had been forced to move to Brisbane or other metropolitan cities after graduating high school in order to secure a job in their chosen profession; however, the development of the Kawana health hub meant countless more job opportunities would soon be available on the Sunshine Coast.
“We’re excited to be hosting ‘Health Heroes’ on May 22 — a free careers expo for students that will see healthcare workers from a diverse range of professions provide insight into job opportunities in the health industry and encourage interested students to pursue careers in this sector,” Mr Williamson said.
“We really want to convey to our young people that a career in the health industry does not necessarily involve becoming either a doctor or a nurse; there are plenty of career opportunities on offer ranging from human resource management and massage therapy, right through to dietetics and counselling.”
Mr Williamson said Kawana Waters State College offered a number of formal training qualifications to its students to help them on their pathway to success, including a Certificate III Allied Health.
“We’re also the only college on the Sunshine Coast offering a Certificate III Health Service Assistant (Assistant Nurse) in partnership with Sunshine Coast TAFE,” Mr Williamson said.
Mr Williamson said the school also offered training in hospitality, business administration and IT, which would assist students in gaining employment in businesses that serviced these needs within the health sector.
“At KWSC, we recognise the importance of preparing students for the workforce and providing them with an opportunity to gain a formal qualification that will give them a head start in their chosen industry,” Mr Williamson said.
For more information regarding Kawana Waters State College and the ‘Healthy Heroes’ expo, visit www.kawanawaterssc.eq.edu.au.