Training the future workforce has always been an active endeavour for Genesys Electronics Design’s Founder & CEO, Geoff Sizer. A design house focused on the contract development of complex electronic devices, Genesys is always on the lookout for talented people to maintain its reputation for specialising without compromise.

According to Geoff, the quality of Genesys’ people is fundamental to the company’s ongoing success. “We look for highly motivated engineers across all experience levels. Our engineering standards are extremely high, and Genesys employees are trained in our rigorous systems and procedures to produce guaranteed quality outputs.”

One of the strategies the company uses to identify its future workforce is university partnerships. Genesys regularly employs undergraduate medical, electrical, mechatronic and software engineers, providing them with industrial experience or vocational work in the product development arena.

“Working with university students is a win-win for Genesys. Students contribute innovative ideas and meaningful input to the company’s medical engineering projects while giving us access to the next generation of engineers who will secure the company’s future.”

Genesys partners with a range of universities, including MedTeCCH founding partner the University of Newcastle. University of Newcastle students Emma Cheetham and Elliot Thomas joined Geoff and his team for work placement as part of their respective fourth year Medical Engineering undergraduate studies.

Emma was emphatic when asked about the key benefit of work placement, “Increased confidence! Putting skills into practice and knowing that my studies are applicable not just in the ‘real world’ but to local industry really gave me confidence – it’s no use dreaming about a job if all the openings are in America!”

“Placement was so valuable. It gave me the chance to experience all aspects of the business – I saw a project through from start to finish and I assisted with small sections of a much larger project. I enjoyed being part of a team and learning about the technical and organisational practices that enable teams to work together to complete large projects – skills that aren’t really covered at uni.”

Elliot, who had an interest in both medicine and engineering at high school, joined the company for work placement after meeting Tim Kannegieter through Genesys’ not-for-profit arm, the NSW Active MedTech Community which supports the medtech innovation ecosystem.

“The opportunity to work at Genesys on real projects was very motivating. I had (and needed) a lot of support from the team but knowing I was contributing to genuine projects is what turned the work placement into a learning opportunity.”

“During my last semester of university I continued to work part time with Genesys and I was lucky enough to be offered a full time job when I graduated. The ability to create positive change on a much larger scale is really attractive to me and my work placement encouraged me to continue my career in MedTech. It’s extremely rewarding to work in a field I’m so passionate about.”

Of the benefits of work placement, Elliot says, “There’s so many … but I believe the most important thing you can take away is contacts. My mentors and supervisors at the various companies I’ve been placed in collaborate, so I’ve been lucky enough to meet decision-makers right across the industry.”

Associate Professor James Welsh convenes the Medical Engineering degree at the University of Newcastle. Dr Welsh said the University is continually looking for industry partners to host students for the compulsory work placement component of their undergraduate programs.

“Work placement contributes to students becoming more employable. It gives them real-world, practical experience in the fields they plan to pursue as careers. It also provides industry partners with access to its future workforce,” Dr Welsh said.

Making connections between industry and the University is a role the Hunter Central Coast’s MedTech & Pharmaceuticals (MTP) industry cluster, MedTeCCH, can assist with. Established and managed by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter, MedTeCCH comprises a broad range of the region’s MedTech and allied health companies, national industry associations, Health and manufacturing specialists, and education & research organisations.

RDA Hunter is building awareness of the Hunter Central Coast as a strong contributor to medtech competitive capability nationally and helping to grow the medtech workforce.