OPTIMISTIC: Registered nurse Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger is excited about potential for medical research jobs on the Coast.
OPTIMISTIC: Registered nurse Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger is excited about potential for medical research jobs on the Coast. John McCutcheon

REVEALED: 10 biggest employers on the Sunshine Coast

REGISTERED nurse Suzanne Volejnikova-Wenger believes a change in approach will help more graduates to expand what is already the Coast's biggest industry.

Mrs Volejnikova-Wenger registered in her profession late last year but worked in healthcare on the Coast for about eight years before that.

She has focused her skills in a primary healthcare role at a clinic as well as community nursing instead of the more trodden hospital graduate path.

It has allowed her the flexibility needed to continue full-time study for her honours degree.

More people are employed in healthcare and assistance than any other industry on the Coast.

But that does not necessarily mean it is easy to find work in those fields.

TOP 10 COAST EMPLOYERS

  1. Health care and social assistance 22,953
  2. Retail trade 18,984
  3. Construction 17,195
  4. Accommodation and food services 13,927
  5. Education and training 12,183
  6. Prof, scientific and technical services 8493
  7. Manufacturing 7287
  8. Other services 6175
  9. Public administration and safety 5579
  10. Administration and support services 5085

"Generally it is not always easy for new graduate nurses and midwives to secure (hospital) graduate positions," Mrs Volejnikova-Wenger said.

"We should explore graduate positions in primary and community care."

She said she was excited by the possibility of being able to stay on the Coast once she achieved her honours degree.

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital as well as the The Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute were among her ideal locations to engage in the research side of her profession

"The Sunshine Coast can become quite specialised and a really stand-out region in health."

Other major employers include retail trade and construction.

The Sunshine Coast has enjoyed some of the highest retail employment growth rates in Australia since 2001, with an annual rise of 2.2% until last year.

That equated to more than 5500 extra workers in the industry during that time.

About 13% of the Coast's working residents commute outside the region, with more than 2% of those in fly-in, fly-out jobs.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokeswoman said the council had worked with the University of the Sunshine Coast to create a 20-year economic and jobs creation strategy.

"This strategy provides the platform for the transformation of the region's economy - a process that does not happen overnight," the spokeswoman said.



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