The year 11 and 12 students from the Illawarra Shoalhaven graduated from IRT Academy with a Certificate III in Individual Support that will allow them to immediately enter the workforce or pursue further education in aged care, community care or nursing.
IRT Academy General Manager Dr David Rosete says the recruitment of younger people to the aged care sector is vital, not only for the sector, which is facing a workforce shortage, but for young people themselves.
He adds that with the average age of employees in the aged care sector being 49, and with less than 10 percent of the sector’s workforce under 24 years of age, graduates represent a “new generation” of aged care employees.
“The Illawarra has a youth unemployment rate of 12.9 percent, but training with IRT Academy can equip graduates with entry-level employment prospects,” he says.
“A career in aged care can also offer students a pathway into other professions within the sector like nursing and management.
“It’s crucial the sector plans for the future of its workforce and IRT Academy is proud to lead the way in that initiative through this innovative training program.”
Dr Rosete says the studies completed with IRT Academy as part of the students schooling, were made possible by the government-funded School-Based Apprentice and Traineeship (SBAT) Program and the collaborative efforts between Training Services NSW, Apprenticeship Support Australia and IRT Academy.
Adding that this collaborative program enables students to gain vocational qualifications while earning credits towards their Higher School Certificate (HSC).
“We’re very proud of our SBAT students,” Dr Rosete says.
“They’ve successfully balanced their IRT Academy training with 700 hours of paid work experience, while working towards their HSC.
“This means they’re well and truly job-ready.”
To prove the program's success and that graduates are job-ready, IRT Group has gone on to employ five of the SBAT graduates in the Illawarra.