The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) will bring together nursing leaders and key industry stakeholders in Sydney today for unprecedented roundtable discussions on ways of securing employment opportunities for more than 3,000 highly-educated Australian nursing and midwifery graduates unable to find permanent jobs.
The ANMF’s Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said the ongoing lack of employment for graduates remains one of the profession’s biggest workforce issues, with up to 40 per cent of graduate nurses and midwives without permanent employment across all States and Territories.
“At a time when Australia faces a growing shortage of nurses and midwives, it’s simply appalling that so many graduates are unable to find work and many feel they have no option than to walk away from their chosen profession,” Ms Thomas said today.
“As the country’s largest health union, we are extremely concerned that the situation will only worsen, unless those people in the position to make real change all sit down and work together to find solutions to improve employment opportunities for our graduates.”
Ms Thomas said the roundtable, convened by the ANMF, will discuss factors such as the impact the use of offshore nurses and midwives has on employment opportunities for local graduates; the exact nature of current and predicted nursing workforce shortages and how targeted funding can be secured to support employment for graduates.
“It’s now crucial that we find solutions for Australian graduates and continue to advocate for funding and structural changes across the industry to secure greater employment opportunities and increase the supply of a highly-educated, skilled labour force into the health and aged care sectors. In aged care alone, an extra 20,000 nurses are desperately needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly-ageing population,” Ms Thomas explained.
“Let’s ensure we develop Australia’s future senior nurses and midwives by finding decent jobs for today’s graduate nurses and midwives.”
The ANMF’s National Graduate Nurse and Midwife Roundtable will take place at the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association’s offices at 50 O’Dea Avenue, Waterloo, from 10am until 4pm.