Year 11 and 12 students at Maryborough State High School now have the opportunity to attain two recognised health qualifications while they complete their senior studies' as part of a groundbreaking local education partnership.
The partnership with CQUniversity and Wide Bay Hospital Health Service (WBHHS) enables students in Year 11 to enrol in a Certificate II in Health Support before entering a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance while completing Year 12.
Students will also be able to complete clinical placements at Maryborough Hospital as part of their studies.
On completion of the two-year program' they will graduate with their usual senior schooling certificate' as well as two industry-recognised health-related qualifications.
Maryborough State High School Principal' Mr Simon Done' said that the delivery of these courses would provide students with valuable skills and help them prepare for employment after the completion of their schooling.
"We are really excited to partner with CQUniversity and Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service to deliver these courses and authentic practical learning experiences to senior students at Maryborough State High School'"
Mr Done said.
"The study of these courses will prepare students for the workforce and give them a competitive edge when it comes time to seeking employment after high school.
"Along with this' the courses will prepare them for study in health-related disciplines should they plan on transitioning to further vocational or university after school."
CQUniversity's Associate Vice-President for the Wide Bay Burnett Region' Mr Luke Sinclair' said that as well as providing a great educational pathway' the qualifications would also mean students were prepared to fill roles within the local health services sector.
"The demand for skilled health support professionals across the Wide Bay is growing' so delivering these qualifications will help to fill that critical skills shortage in the region'"
Mr Sinclair said.
"The young people completing these courses will be qualified to work in health support roles as soon as they leave high school.
"This is a great result for the students and a great result for our communities."
WBHHS Chief Executive Debbie Carroll said that the partnership would help to build local health workforces while providing young people with important work-ready skills.
"We felt it was vitally important for WBHHS to be involved in this initiative'"
Ms Carroll said.
"Building a skilled local workforce is a key strategic priority for WBHHS and working with Maryborough State High School and CQUniversity to deliver real skills and real training to senior high school students is a great way to do this.
"The students will benefit from real-life learning experiences and will complete their formal schooling with recognised health qualifications' which can help them to gain employment within the sector right after finishing school."
CQUniversity will deliver the courses online and onsite at Maryborough State High School and will loan clinical equipment and resources to the school so that a clinical space can be developed for practical simulation studies.
The study program will be free for students as part of the Start TAFE Now program run by CQUniversity' with students only needing to cover the costs of personal learning resources and clinical uniforms.
As part of the course completion' students will also undertake vocational clinical placements within WBHHS healthcare settings across the region.
The launch of this program is part of a broader partnership between MSHS and CQUniversity following the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year.
The Memorandum of Understanding set out plans to provide MSHS students with several study pathway options into the University's training and higher education programs and also set out guidelines to establish stronger collaborations when it comes to teacher training and staff professional development.