Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, applauds the West Australian Government’s reduction in TAFE fees for the critical sectors of aged and disability care.

LASA State Manager Liz Behjat said the move to halve course costs from 2020 would play an important role in helping to grow the professional aged care workforce.

“Demand for staff is rising fast and this initiative will help avoid a skills shortage by making it easier to participate in this vital sector, especially for our youth,” Ms Behjat said.

“With projections we need to triple the aged care workforce by 2050, I encourage young people in particular, to consider what is a fulfilling career in quality care, with rapidly growing prospects.”

The TAFE fee reductions have also been welcomed by LASA Next Gen, a national initiative designed to attract the best and brightest young leaders and professionals to steer the age services industry.

“Reforms like this will help foster the skills to shape and lead the sector in the provision of quality care,” said Next Gen Principal Adviser Samantha Bowen.

“We know that in the next 10 years, 60% of our workforce is entering retirement age. This is about recognising the importance of our aged care workforce and building the capacity to develop new ideas and change into the future.”

LASA promotes age services as strong career options and acknowledges professionalisation and increased expectations for training.

We welcome local and national conversations across all education forums – including secondary schools, TAFE and tertiary institutions – about age services as a career of choice, with the creation of new pathways to attract workers directly from mainstream education.

It is also important to progress the review of modules contained within vocational training, such as the Cert III in Individual Support, to reflect current industry requirements.

Furthermore, it is imperative that governments work with the vocational education and training industry and Australian Skills Quality Authority to increase the confidence that the age services industry has in registered training organisations.

The TAFE WA changes will see aged care course fees capped at a maximum of $1,200 per year from 1 January 2020. For those eligible for a concession and for students aged 15 – 24 the maximum fee will be $400 per year.

About Leading Age Services Australia (LASA)

LASA is the national association for all providers of age services across residential care, home care and retirement living/seniors housing. Our purpose is to enable high performing, respected, and sustainable age services that support older Australians to age well by providing care, support and accommodation with quality, safety and compassion – always.

We represent providers of age services of all types and sizes located across Australia’s metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Consistent with the overall industry profile, 56% of our Members are not-for-profit providers, 36% are for-profit providers and 8% are government providers.

Our diverse and representative membership gives LASA the ability to speak with credibility and authority on issues of importance to older Australians and the age services industry.

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Contact: Nick Way Ph 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au