DENTAL HEALTH WEEK IS A TIME TO EXAMINE HOW VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FILLS GAPS IN HEALTHCARE, A SECTOR TO BE PUT IN THE SPOTLIGHT DURING NATIONAL SKILLS WEEK

02-08-2016

Dental Health Week, running this week from August 1st to 7th, is a time for people to not only take greater care of their smiles, but also become aware of the skills shortages occurring in healthcare sectors. National Skills Week in August aims to help people better understand how Vocational Education shapes students into qualified healthcare professionals and prepares them for a smooth transition into the workforce, in sectors where they are critically required.

With Australia’s population on the rise, more healthcare students are required so that Industry can meet demands years from now. This comes at a time when there is significant conversation on the need to encourage people to consider Vocational Training options.

TAFE New South Wales is just one VET institution that offers a number of healthcare courses that focus on much needed care for infants, the elderly and those with a disability. Some of the courses on offer include dental assisting, optical technology, and anaesthesia and sedation. Taking up a healthcare career is highly rewarding for an individual because it allows them to play an immediate role in assisting others, and improving the quality of life for all Australians.

“Vocational Education has a specific approach to how students are trained so that they are not only qualified, but also practically and technically skilled for the job,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

“Healthcare sectors require professionals that are knowledgeable, and able to put logic into hands-on work, a requirement that VET aims to meet by exposing students to work experience and Australian Apprenticeship opportunities.”

National Skills Week running from August 29th to September 4th will put skills shortages in healthcare on the agenda, and reveal the many opportunities and benefits available to people who choose to pursue a career pathway through VET. An integral part of the week is appearances from Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors who share their VET career journeys and achievements in the hope to inspire others.

One Australian Training Awards Alumni is Katherine Masson, Australian Training Award’s 2015 Tasmanian Trainee of the Year. A qualified dental nurse, Katherine took interest in furthering her skill set and knowledge in the dental career. She decided to turn to VET and took up a Diploma of Dental Technology. A combination of study and work experience allowed Katherine to gain commendable hands-on skills that resulted in her being offered a full-time position as soon as she completed her Diploma.

Katherine says she was “privileged” to accept her Tasmanian Training Award. “I would like to specialise in an area of orthodontics and I need to go onto further studies for that, but I am happy to do so,” she said.

When asked to provide advice to anyone that wants to pursue their passions, Katherine says, “if you ever have the opportunity to do something and it comes within grasp, just grab it with both hands and do it.”

For further information on Katherine’s story or that of other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors visit https://www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au and https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/australian-apprenticeships-ambassadors-program

Join us in celebrating National Skills Week and how VET provides endless career opportunities. Organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found on the National Skills Week website: http://www.nationalskillsweek.com.au/get-involved/events/.