The onset of the COVID pandemic has brought about a renewed interest in Australian school leavers wanting to enter the healthcare profession, as a recent study shows.
A survey of 5,000 young people reveals that Australian jobseekers want to work in healthcare more than any other sector. The survey was conducted by career advice website Skillsroad across November to December 2021, and it was backed by Business Australia and several chambers of commerce.
It is believed that extensive media coverage brought on by the pandemic has highlighted healthcare as an attractive career option, even creating what has been coined the ‘rockstar effect’, given the daily news conferences featuring chief health officers and other medical advisors.
Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter explains. “During the pandemic, we’ve seen some of these health sectors ‘up in lights’ which you could call the rock-star effect; seeing high-profile people like Dr Kerry Chant I think attracts people into the industry,’ he said.
“The findings may give some hope to the healthcare sector which has been struggling under the weight of staffing shortages and pandemic burnout.
“It’s an attractive industry because it also has meaning as you are helping people in their time of need and young people are looking for that sense of purpose in their careers.”
While podiatry programs currently experience lower uptake than other university-based allied health programs at university, such as physiotherapy, there is an enormous opportunity in this widespread interest in the health profession.
In this month’s ACPD update, Associate Professor Caroline Robinson explains that many would-be physiotherapists who study podiatry, intending to switch across, often remain in podiatry studies after the first-year. Not only this but the growth in the number of registered podiatrists from December 2020 to December 2021 was higher than the proportional increase in registered physiotherapists during the same period (5.2% registered podiatrists compared with 3% registered physiotherapists).
To read the full article by Caroline Robinson, on behalf of the Australian Council of Podiatry Deans (ACPD), head here.