According to the City Of Greater Geelong’s Community Profile, Geelong’s population is changing, not just in size, but the demographic profile continues to shift and diversify also. At one end of the spectrum we are an ageing population with people aged over 65 years of age predicted to increase by 43.7 per cent by 2021. At the other end of the spectrum, Geelong birth rates have increased significantly over the past 10 years and subsequently the population of young children is expected to continue to grow.
The World Population Review sees Geelong growing from its current 244,000 residents to approximately 300,000 by 2031.
Geelong’s trajectory will see two industries emerge as those desperate for Professionals – Health and Education.
Let’s dissect these:
The health industry covers all facets from critical care, hospital, allied health, clinical practices, community health and social services.
Geelong already has demonstrated a dire need for surgeons and specialists and as shown by growing waiting lists at our hospitals.
In addition the Allied Health sector has been one in need for the last five years at least. These include our Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists, Exercise Physiologists, Nutritionists and Dieticians. With our “over 65’s” and mini baby-boom our quest for quality allied health professionals will not subside.
There are those responsible for running our facilities, such as Clinical Directors, Operations Managers, Health Information System Specialists through to our aged care facilities managers and ward clerks.
The need for qualified nurses in hospitals, aged care and community care will also continue to surge and our paramedics and ambulance sector will have to increase to keep up with demand.
Geelong’s social fabric is a complex one. We have two of the highest most educated and affluent suburbs yet still some of the most challenged suburbs: those with three generations of unemployment and the highest ratio of school drop-out. The cycle of poverty and the social impacts that come cannot be ignored. Thus Geelong’s social and community services requires higher order skills in social and community work to manage the need.
We are a lifestyle city. It is what we boast! To ensure all facets of lifestyle are accomodated our Health System needs to be second to none.
Deakin, continues to feed our health pipeline and Geelong will have to really market to our health professionals who have signficant choice when it comes to lifestyle and career.
If Geelong’s birth rate continues to rise, this naturally will have a flow-on effect with an increase in demand for quality daycare, kindergarten, primary and secondary education. Deakin is now listed as Australia’s 5th…yes 5th leading University. Deakin now plays heavily not only in the national arena, but internationally and we have witnessed the Geelong waterfront transformation to that of a university precinct.
However from Pre-Primary Teachers to our Lecturers and Heads of Schools we will need to feed talented educators into our system.
Article written by Maree Herath, a regional spectator of Geelong’s changing landscape and Director of Harvest Human Resources and Harvest Recruitment