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Failure to Launch: Employment Opportunities for Recent Health Graduates in Tasmania


Jessup, B and Proudfoot, F and Barnett, T, Failure to Launch: Employment Opportunities for Recent Health Graduates in Tasmania, Cradle Coast Conference: Celebrating the impact of regional research and education, 11 November 2022, Devonport, Australia (2022) [Conference Extract]

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Background: Graduate supply from nursing and allied health courses across Australia may bode well for addressing rural health workforce shortages. However, little is known about the extent to which employers in regional, rural or remote Australia are advertising targeted employment opportunities for recently graduated health professionals. This study aimed to examine job opportunities for nursing and allied health professionals in Tasmania and identify vacancies advertised as suitable for recent health graduates.

Methods: Online job advertisements posted on six job websites between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 were screenshot and electronically stored for analysis. Data were extracted from advertisements relating to the nature of the vacancy (e.g. profession, number of positions, location, tenure, salary). All advertisements were screened for textual reference of graduate suitability and coded accordingly. Locations of advertised positions were also mapped to Modified Monash Model (MM) category to analyse remoteness. All data were analysed in SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Findings: A total of 3967 job advertisements were identified over the 12 month period, of which 184 (4.6%) specifically mentioned graduate suitability. Graduate suitable positions were mostly in the non-government sector (70.1%), located in regional (MM2) (73.4%) areas and were for allied health professionals (87.5%). Around half (48.9%) of graduate suitable vacancies were advertising for either physiotherapists and/or occupational therapists. Proportionately, some health professions advertised graduate suitability more frequently over the twelve month period including podiatry (38.7%), exercise physiology (35.0%), dental therapy (33.3%), physiotherapy (21.0%), midwifery (20.8%) and paramedicine (20.0%).

Conclusions: Although recent graduates are a possible solution to address rural health workforce shortages (MM3-7), graduate employment opportunities are limited in Tasmania and centralised within regional (MM2) areas. Additional infrastructure and transition support is needed to make rural and remote job opportunities within the state suitable for recent graduates and allow them to embed themselves within rural communities for the longer term.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:graduate employment, health science graduates, labour market, recruitment, rural health
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Rural and remote health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Jessup, B (Dr Belinda Jessup)
UTAS Author:Proudfoot, F (Dr Fiona Proudfoot)
UTAS Author:Barnett, T (Associate Professor Tony Barnett)
ID Code:154341
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2022-11-23
Last Modified:2022-11-24

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