Healthy job choices

By Myles Peterson

Local students flooded the Goulburn Valley Hospital grounds yesterday during a day organised to lift the lid on the hospital’s operations and showcase the wide range of careers it offers.

The joint project of Goulburn Valley Health and the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project sought to show future school leavers hospitals employ far more staff than the obvious doctors and nurses.

‘‘We’ve shown them the environmental services, supply, catering, finance, human resources and engineering; trades such as plumbers and electricians,’’ nursing and midwifery practice, education and research director Cathy Scott said at the event.

‘‘Currently we have 2200 employees (and) about 1100 of them are nurses and midwives. With the redevelopment we’re looking at introducing another 400 jobs in the support services space. That’s in 2020, it’s not far away.’’

GV Health is Shepparton’s largest employer, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Lighthouse’s Amy Robinson said local students did not often consider how diverse the range of employment opportunities were at the hospital, and the day was designed to get them thinking outside the box about where a future career might lie.

‘‘Out of the (Lighthouse’s) 1000 conversations that occurred in 2013, we discovered there was a real disconnect between the local young people’s knowledge of local job options,’’ Ms Robinson said.

‘‘The schools are doing as much as they can and the careers advisers are doing a great job — but they’re spread really thin.’’

Shepparton High School student Eleanor Gwynn said the careers day had opened her eyes to what was on offer at GV Health.

‘‘I think it’s interesting. I liked the admin stuff, the office stuff. I only ever really thought about the nurses and doctors, I didn’t realise how many jobs there are,’’ she said.

Lighthouse was created by a small team of dedicated locals and since 2013 has grown in size and scope, now boasting more than 10 employees and a range of programs.

‘‘There are so many great career opportunities right on our doorstep and days like this can ignite passion and aspiration for our young local people and increase their opportunities to access meaningful and ongoing study and employment pathways,’’ Ms Robinson said.