Speed Dating Your Career
11 Apr 2019
Health and community services is one of the biggest employers in Australia. Currently one in seven Queenslanders is employed in the sector and by 2050 the Gold Coast is projected to have the largest growth in this sector in the country, estimated to be worth $7 billion annually. In short, helping people, particularly the aged and disabled, is big business.
Unsurprisingly there are many opportunities in health and community services, but that doesn’t mean the pathways to employment are as straightforward as they could be. It’s a complicated sector populated by government, private health providers, agencies and charities employing health professionals and volunteers working flexible hours in what can be a demanding, but also very rewarding role.
It’s against this backdrop that Southern Cross University and TAFE Queensland are collaborating with National Disability Services to facilitate better employment pathways between service providers and students. This job matching program is part of Study Gold Coast’s Vision 2020 initiative, a co-funded program designed to foster partnerships between the education and training sector and industry stakeholders.
The TAFE Queensland and Southern Cross University Workability Jobs Roadshow brought together a host of providers and recruitment agencies from the health and community services sector, introducing them to hundreds of prospective student employees.
Providers and agents pitched their business model, outlining the services they provide, the career opportunities and their organisation’s culture. Then it was the turn for each student to meet their prospective employers in what was essentially an exercise in speed dating for a job.
With complete strangers selling their prospects to each other towards a common goal to find a good match it was like trying to choose the right dance partner at a career’s ball, with a shared tension of nervousness and excitement as potential employers and employees got to know each other a little better. In the era of dating apps where romantic partners can find each other instantly it makes perfect sense in the workplace too.
Creating a roadshow to find the right employer for the right job isn’t the only thing that’s changed about the workplace, customer expectations are changing the nature of how and where we work now too.
As one agent remarked: “recruitment is really different now for this sector. Customers are setting the agenda for what they want and service providers need to meet their requirements. If a customer specifies that they’d like a male support worker of African descent who barracks for the Sydney Swans and is adept at playing Call of Duty on PS4, then I have to do my best to find a support worker who meets that description.”