Health Issues Centre

"(Placements) are great for an organisation that's been around for as long as we have, to gain the energy and innovative approach of younger students."

Danny Vadasz, CEO

Danny Vadasz, CEO, Health Issues Centre

Danny Vadasz, CEO of the not-for-profit Health Issues Centre, shares how hiring professional placement students helps his organisation to keep in touch with changing social norms and what's trending in youth culture.

"Health Issues Centre employed two professional placement students last year, including a videographer and a health communications student.

We didn't have any video production capabilities, and needed the students to help us put together a variety of resources. The students produced video content that really established a new methodology for dealing with health issues. Their videos were shown at a number of national conferences and have been received with acclaim.

We've ensured that our placement students are going out into the workforce with a set of skills they wouldn’t have been able to develop if they were just relying on their formal training. It’s been good for them, good for their future employers, and good for us too. I think an organisation learns a lot when it takes on the role of a teacher.

Hiring a professional placement student is an affordable way of introducing additional HR resources into an organisation, where it mightn’t be possible to employ a fully qualified practitioner. It’s great for an organisation that's been around for as long as we have, to gain the energy and innovative approach of younger students. It helps us to keep in touch with changing social norms and conventions, particularly with what’s trending in youth culture.

Giving young people an opportunity like this is incredibly satisfying and watching what the students can achieve is very rewarding. It's very easy to offer opportunities — it's not an enormous risk or a big investment, and the rewards are terrific.

I believe that all organisations, whether they’re a not-for-profit or in the commercial world, have an ethical obligation to take on training roles for students. Organisations constantly complain about how hard it is to find talented workers, and I believe they need to start seeing themselves as part of the problem.

If you don’t get a buzz out of recognising that people have ability and that you can unleash that ability by providing an opportunity, then you're missing out on a lot of self-satisfaction!"