Exciting opportunities in the health sector
Having come through a period of uncertainty, the Irish healthcare sector has seen a large increase in vacant permanent positions in the public and private healthcare sectors, according to Niall McDevitt, Director of CPL Healthcare.
“It is widely known that a nursing qualification opens doors worldwide, and Ireland is competing in the global market which has an acknowledged world-wide shortage, to attract and recruit new staff, as well as retain its existing staff,” he explains. CPL Healthcare is Ireland’s largest healthcare staffing agency, filling both temporary and permanent vacancies across the public and private sectors.
“It has been seen as an extremely positive step that all of the nurses who graduate in Ireland this year will be offered a permanent job within the Health Service Executive. Early indication from the Student Nurses is that the vast majority will accept the offer to remain in Ireland, and practice what they’ve learned over the last 4 years of study.”
Whilst this recruitment will more than likely fill posts in generic areas such as Medicine and Surgery wards, experienced nurses are still sought by large acute hospitals in specialty fields such as; ICU, CCU, HDU, Emergency and Theatre, to increase the hospitals’ staffing skill mix, or to provide a more balanced workforce experience wise.
“Some of these experienced nurses are Irish qualified who relocated abroad for employment in years gone past, and who now bring home with them a wealth of experience and skills to share with their new colleagues in the health service. Job prospects at senior/managerial level, education opportunities and being closer to family/ friends are usually the driving factor for Nurses returning to Ireland in recent times,” he adds.
As well as nurses, healthcare staff in a number of other disciplines including doctors and allied health are seeing an opening up of permanent and contract opportunities, coming on the back of years of recruitment moratoriums. “For many, especially new graduates, the only option available was working abroad, where the health services of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore welcomed our graduates with open arms and benefited hugely. Thankfully we are now seeing a reversal of this trend with many allied health professionals and doctors returning home to take up senior and specialist roles within the primary and secondary care sector.”
New graduates are also benefiting with increased funding within the disabilities sector and waiting list initiatives which have seen large numbers of therapy professionals recruited on completion of their courses. The establishment of Tusla Child and Family Agency and the creation of National Safeguarding and Protection service within the HSE, along with opportunities within the private sector has ensured Social Workers now have many options when plotting their career paths.
“Allied health professionals working within diagnostic services are also highly sought after with radiographers, sonographers and clinical physiologists seeing increases in vacancies across all grades as hospitals and clinics expand their diagnostic services through embracing new technologies available,” Niall McDevitt concludes. “In summary, Ireland is open for business and welcoming of highly skilled healthcare workers.”
CIT courses offer career pathways to booming leisure industr y
The Exercise, Health and Fitness industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy.
As a result of societal changes leading to increased sedentary time, rising levels of overweight and obesity, increased life expectancy and a greater knowledge of the importance of health and wellness among the population; it is anticipated that growth in this sector will continue into the future, according to Dr. Con Burns, Course Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer in the Cork Institute of Technology’s Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies. “In fact, it has been estimated that over €700 million was spent in the Republic of Ireland on gym, fitness centre and sports club membership in 2016 alone, and that this could rise to almost €750 million in the next 3-5 years.
This has created a demand for highly qualified health and fitness professionals with specialist knowledge and skills in this broad field. Note that the breadth of this field extends to health and fitness for all life stages, including childhood, youth, adult and older adult.”
He adds that worryingly, 60% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese in this country (Dept. of Health, 2013) while the WHO forecasts that Ireland could top the European League Table in the near future. “The Recreation & Leisure Management and Sport & Exercise Management programmes in Cork Institute of Technology are well placed to meet this demand in the economy providing highly qualified graduates with specialist practical knowledge and competencies coupled with a strong business management base.”
The BBus. Recreation and Leisure Management is a three year programme in CIT’s Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies. Students who successfully complete this programme are eligible to progress to the 1-Year add-on BBus. (Hons) Sport & Exercise Management programme of study.