Dr Melanie Hayman – RUN

Mel Hayman, Central Queensland University

Title: Embedding vocational qualifications into tertiary first year to support first-year students

There is a skills shortage in Australia and the workforce is in desperate need of initiatives and solutions that can be implemented at speed to address this deficiency. The ‘enormity’ of this challenge calls for efforts from all parties in the Australian broad skill ecosystem, including higher education (HE). All parties must come together in order to contribute to a sustainable and effective workforce, characterised by diversity and productivity. As such, there are not only growing demands for higher education graduates who can negotiate rapidly transforming employment contexts, but also foruniversities to develop innovative ways that enable students early entry into the workforce.

In response to this skills shortage, I utilised the CQUniversity dual-sector model to successfully embed the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance qualification into the first year of the CB66 Bachelor of Allied Health course. This qualification enables CB66 students early entry into the allied health workforce as Allied Health Assistants while continuing their higher education study. Furthermore, this qualification provides an additional exit pathway for CB66 students following their first year of study, should they want to discontinue study and gain related employment.