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Local jobs remain large concern

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has said the lack of jobs for local nurses and midwives continues to be one of the profession’s biggest workforce issues.

The statement follows the release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report Nursing and Midwifery Workforce 2014, which showed more than 9000 nurses and midwives are looking for work.

AIHW found that of the 323,700 nurses and midwives available in the workforce in 2014, 9100 were unable to find jobs in their field, up from 8200 in 2013 and 4500 in 2011.

“Whilst the number of … nurses and midwives has risen 7 per cent, indicating that we’re on track with supply, the number of well-educated, qualified nurses and midwives looking for work is increasing,” ANMF federal secretary Lee Thomas, said. “The number of jobless nurses and midwives has doubled in three years and that’s a worrying trend. And it’s not just concerning for the ANMF and our members. If we’re not getting our newly qualified nurses and midwives into the workforce, that’s very concerning for the future of healthcare in Australia.”

Thomas said the AIHW figures come on top of Graduate Careers Australia’s recently released report on the work and study outcomes of 2014 higher education graduates, Graduate Destinations 2014, which indicated that almost 20 per cent of 2014 graduate nurses and midwives have not found full-time employment.

“It’s still hard to comprehend that we have 9000 nurses and midwives looking for work when it’s estimated that Australia faces a shortage of more than 80,000 nurses by 2025,” Thomas said. “To make genuine improvements we need more political commitment.

The ANMF is calling on political decision-makers to join with its members and industry stakeholders to come up with sustainable solutions to improve the employment opportunities for Australian graduates.

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