Australia’s nurse graduates are having a hard time finding secure employment, according to a new survey by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).
The ANMF survey revealed that only 15 per cent of respondents claimed they currently had secure jobs, while over a third of nurse and midwifery graduates said they were jobless.
The results also pointed to a large amount of graduates unable to get work due to their ‘lack of experience’, a factor that has seen many employers looking to hire international workers.
Australian Council of Trade Unions President Ged Kearney cited faults in the current temporary visa system as a major contributor to the employment issues seen in the nursing and midwifery sectors.
“Graduates and young people should not be missing out on job opportunities because of the overuse and abuse of the temporary visa system,” Mr Kearney said.
“The temporary visa system is broken and must be fixed or we’ll continue to see young Australians missing out on jobs and foreign workers being exploited.
“Student nurses and midwives complete their degrees, they are often very passionate about this chosen career path and yet when they try to find work employers won’t give them a chance.”
During 2013-14, ANMF estimates that approximately 60 per cent of Tasmanian nursing graduates could not find jobs, only 600 out of 2,500 Queensland graduates managed to find employment, and Victoria saw 800 graduates unable to get work.
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said more nurses and midwives are leaving their industries due to the lack of employment opportunities, a result she says is contributing to an overall shortage in industry staff.
“As a nation, it is now crucial that we start building a nursing and midwifery workforce for the future, giving graduates the training and experience they need to become the senior nurses and midwives of tomorrow,” Ms Thomas said.
“We must work together to find solutions that promote a strong nursing and midwifery workforce.”