In a rapidly ageing Australia, a high-performing aged care workforce is a national priority. A national approach to planning and monitoring our aged care workforce, including developing a national training and capability framework, and making recommendations on role design, pay scales and attraction and retention strategies, are among key recommendations made by Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) in its submission to the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce this week.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the aged care workforce is an essential workforce and must be a high priority for the nation.

“This workforce delivers Australia’s intergenerational promise to support people as they age,” Mr Rooney said.

“We need a plan to ensure our growing numbers of older Australians receive high quality age services delivered by appropriately trained, qualified and committed staff.

“To achieve this we also need a stable and appropriate funding base.”

Mr Rooney said the industry has welcomed the opportunity to work with the Federal Government’s Aged Care Workforce Taskforce which is responsible for developing a wide-ranging workforce strategy focused on ensuring safe, quality aged care for older Australians.

LASA’s submission to the Taskforce makes 23 recommendations, including that:

  • The Australian Government commit to a national process of planning and monitoring the aged care workforce.
  • The Aged Care Industry Reference Committee (IRC) auspices the development of an Aged Care Training and Capability Framework. The Framework should specify the curriculum content for people training to enter the workforce and address continuing professional education.
  • The Taskforce’s recommendations should focus on quality of outcomes for older Australians, (and not the quantity of staffing levels)
  • The Taskforce makes recommendation on role design, pay scale design, training and attraction/retention approaches linked to the Capability Framework, noting the need for the Federal Government to consider how best to ensure the sector is adequately resourced to attract, reward, retain and develop a high-performing workforce, and how these costs are shared between the Government and consumers.

Mr Rooney said that it is also good to acknowledge how aged care workers make a positive difference in the lives of older Australians, every day.

“Twenty-four hours a day, seven days week, year in year out, around 350,000 staff, in over 3,000 residential care, home care and home support organisations, deliver care, support, services and accommodation to over 1.3million older Australians. This is something our industry is immensely proud of and something our nation is very grateful for,” Mr Rooney said.

“Anything we can do to better enable, develop and grow our aged care workforce is a worthwhile investment as aged care workers also support social cohesion and add to the social capital of the communities in which they serve.”

The taskforce is expected to complete its work by 30 June this year.

Contact:                                 Ashley Oliver 0458 011 009     ashleyo@lasa.asn.au