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Partnering to Prepare Our Next Generation of Aged Care Workers

on the Monday, March 7, 2016

Southern Cross Care SA&NT is partnering with the Beacon Foundation to support programs which better prepare school students for life beyond the school gates, whether it is going to further education and training, or full-time work.

The aim of this project is to encourage work experience participants into aged care service offerings as a career choice, to entice the next generation of carers, nurses and hospitality staff.

Southern Cross Care SA&NT CEO, Andrew Larpent OBE said, “The aged care sector has an insatiable need for talented, ambitious, energetic and creative people.

"A modern workforce is expected to engage intellectually with customers; therefore, emotional intelligence is a key personal attribute we seek, along with an empathy and passion for helping people.”

The Beacon Foundation SA State Manager, Mandy Rossetto added,“South Australia currently has the highest unemployment rates in Australia, including some of the worst youth unemployment rates; Beacon works with schools, industry and the community to help tackle this problem by supporting students to develop the knowledge, skills and motivation to successfully transition to employment after school.”

Southern Cross Care and the Beacon Foundation are currently working on a project involving William Light School students that will introduce students to the various career pathways in the aged care sector, and provide opportunities for work experience with a view to providing employment opportunities later this year.

William Light R-12 School has been working with the Beacon Foundation for four years to develop partnerships with local businesses in their community, get industry into the classroom curriculum, provide work readiness training, and exploration of different career pathways. 

“The Beacon activities are put together really well, and give students the experiences to prepare themselves to be ready for job interviews, what professional working environments are like, and to also make the most out of all available opportunities they are given,” said Jamie Carrico, a student from William Light School.

Southern Cross Care, Workforce Development Manager Sue Ostojic, added, “We are excited to have this project up and running with the view to introduce the students to pathways at our Pines and Bucklands locations. This is just one way we can help to shape the future and encourage the younger generation to consider a career in aged care.”

The Beacon Work Readiness Programs sees students participate in activities to help them learn about the world of work, job interviews and the importance of first impressions and presentation.

Students build their communication, collaboration, initiative, networking, and social skills through these various activities, they learn how to prepare for an interview and how to stand out from the crowd.

They then participate in short mock interviews to learn what to expect.

An important aspect of the Beacon model is the establishment of the school’s Business Partnership Group.

At William Light School, the Group meetings allow members like Southern Cross Care, the West Torrens Council, IKEA and others to support the school and work with the students.

The meeting topics include how to improve the school and the Beacon program and Beacon Student Ambassadors are invited to contribute and experience how a proper business meeting is run.

Click here to find out more about Southern Cross Care SA&NT.