IF it weren't for the new Health Industry Training Centre at Hervey Bay TAFE, nursing student Phoebe Cox would have to leave the region to study elsewhere.

The 18-year-old student is one of the new graduates enrolled in the centre's diploma of nursing, which opened in January.

Since the program was introduced, enrolments at the new facility have increased by 30%, with Phoebe's enrolment in the course meaning she is able to study and work in Hervey Bay, without the need to travel to campuses at Bundaberg or Gympie for further study.

"I would have been forced to move back to Gympie if this program didn't open. You learn so much from this program, and it lets me work and study in the region as well," she said

"I was thinking about doing aged care , but then I saw the diploma of nursing had come into Hervey Bay, at the most perfect of times, as I was considering moving back to Gympie to study."

Queensland's Attorney General, Yvette D'Ath visited the Hervey Bay TAFE campus Health Industry Centre.  Nursing Teacher Pam Salter, Nursing Students Carlton Murray and Phoebe Cox and AG Yvette D'Ath.
Queensland's Attorney General, Yvette D'Ath visited the Hervey Bay TAFE campus Health Industry Centre. Nursing Teacher Pam Salter, Nursing Students Carlton Murray and Phoebe Cox and AG Yvette D'Ath. Valerie Horton

Ms D'Ath said health training was an even higher priority with the rollout of the NDIS next year.

"Students studying the Certificate III in Individual Support at the Hervey Bay campus are eligible for subsidies under the Annual VET Investment Plan," she said.

"The training landscape is one of constant change and we need to keep up with the workforce needs and industry demands."

About 150 students are studying nursing and allied health courses at the training hub.

The Hervey Bay TAFE campus, which has about 1288 students, is one of seven campuses that are part of TAFE Queensland East Coast, which stretches from the Sunshine Coast to Bundaberg.

TAFE Queensland East Coast general manager Dr Paul Wilson said people with skills in health would continue to be in high demand throughout the Fraser Coast region due to the area's aging population.

"Nursing is one of the most popular courses offered across the entire organisation with an increase of almost 45 per cent in enrolments since 2013," Dr Wilson said.



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