New visas and employment-assistance program tackle aged care workforce shortage

Posted: 16th Sep

According to a recent Government report on the future of Australia’s aged care workforce, over half of all aged care homes report shortages of personal care assistants, and a third of community care providers also say they don’t have enough staff.

We’ve also been hearing about staff shortages constantly in the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

Meanwhile, there are hundreds of refugees and new Australians who are trained in aged care but are struggling to find jobs.

Thankfully, a new Government policy – and an innovative new employment-assistance program –have been created to help to tackle this issue.

Last week, the Government announced two new labour agreements that will allow aged care providers to sponsor skilled carers from overseas for employment, as well as introducing an Australian-first occupation that can be sponsored by religious institutions.

Both agreements are designed to create thousands of job opportunities for foreign workers.

Not-for-profit provider VMCH has also launched ‘Interconnect’ – a program that provides candidates from overseas with on-the-job training in the aged care sector.

The program came about when VMCH saw how many people were deemed ‘long term unemployed’ after gaining their care qualifications.

“The very system that is supposed to support these people is actually getting them stuck in an unemployment loop with no way out,” says VMCH Senior Manager Learning and Organisational Development, Kate Tonge.

Interconnect will avoid the ‘tick and flick’ approach used by many Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to churn through new staff to gain more funding.

It will involve practical components like volunteering, shadowing and mentoring from existing staff to ensure new workers are properly upskilled and supported.

With the aged care industry hungrier for new workers everyday – it’s about time we saw some solutions.

Source: Aded Care 101 -