Traineeship will help to boost health worker numbers

THE Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) is celebrating the launch of its Aboriginal School-Based Traineeship program.

The Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program, named in honour of prominent Aboriginal activist Elsa Dixon, is a pilot school-based traineeship program aiming to promote workforce diversity and innovation for the Health District and better health outcomes for patients.

A total of 25 indigenous trainees have begun their two-year traineeship with the MNCLHD, working in nursing, allied health, IT and administration across all health sites.

On completion of their traineeships, the students will have achieved a nationally recognised qualification in their chosen field, which contributes to their Higher School Certificate.

MNCLHD Chief Executive, Stewart Dowrick, said the Local Health District was committed to increasing the representation of Aboriginal employees in all parts of the health sector.

"The MNCLHD Aboriginal School Based Traineeship Program is not only an innovative opportunity for those wanting to enter the Health workforce, it is also a great opportunity in improving career pathway opportunities for Aboriginal youth on the Mid North Coast," he said.

The MNCLHD Aboriginal workforce currently stands at 3.4%, which is above the NSW Health benchmark of 2.6%, however Mr Dowrick would like to see this figure increase further to 5%.

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