Trained health care assistants - what are the prospects after graduation?

Very little is known about what motivates young adults who completed a VET programme in health care, to continue working in the occupation for which they trained or to pursue more advanced training at tertiary level. However, knowing what motivates young people who have just completed their training is essential in order to develop urgently needed measures to restore a balanced labour force situation. Given the aging society, labour force shortages in health care can have particularly dire consequences.

Nurse with old patient

For this reason, OBS SFUVET has teamed up with the national umbrella organisation OdASanté to carry out a career study of all those who completed their VET programme in health care in 2011. This career study is partly funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

The findings of the study painted both a positive and a bleak picture: one year after graduation, around 80% of the graduates found work in the health care field. However, over the medium-term fewer than 30% would like to remain employed as health care workers. This notion is particularly influenced by the training and working conditions in their host institution, but also by factors such as age, gender and scholastic achievement. However, the actual number of graduates who remain in or leave the health care field and their effective reasons will only become clear five years after graduation. In the autumn of 2016 we have sent out another survey to the same group. The final report will be ready by autumn 2017.

The Confederation, the cantons, host institutions and schools in the health care branch are very much interested in receiving the findings from this study as soon as possible in order for them to take effective measures to address labour market shortages in health care and, specifically, to improve the training and working conditions in a targeted manner.

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