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Lack of jobs for graduates disastrous: union

The union has called for a centrally coordinated and funded model for the employment of Queensland’s new graduates.

When it comes time to hang up the new calendar and look forward to what the new year holds, a number of nursing and midwifery graduates will be left worrying when – or if – they will secure work in their chosen profession.

This is the dim prediction of the Queensland Nurses’ Union, which fears that the number of new graduates that will not gain employment with Queensland Health at the end of 2010 and beginning on 2011 will exceed the number that do.

Raising these concerns in a letter to Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Paul Lucas, the union said a new, centrally coordinated and funded model was required for the employment of this group.

“In recent years, hundreds of nursing and midwifery graduates have failed to obtain timely employment with QH despite the current and projected increase of demand for health and aged care services for Queensland,” Gay Hawksworth, QNU secretary, said in the letter.

Not only has this caused distress for the individual affected, she said it was “undermining the attractiveness of the profession” as word was “spreading fast” among existing and potential students about the difficulties of gaining employment.

“Members … cannot fathom why it is the case that a strategy has not yet been developed. They are demanding explanations,” Hawksworth said.

“A large part of the difficulty in developing a strategy rests with the number of stakeholders that have a role to play in addressing the issue, with no one stakeholder being responsible for taking the lead.”

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