Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM is calling on young Australians to consider diverse and exciting new careers in the rapidly growing aged care sector.

Launching Australia’s first aged care Next Gen Young Leaders Forum in Perth today, Minister Wyatt said strong, long-term demand and the promise of new professional pathways made the sector an ideal employment choice.

“We are entering a golden age of ageing,” said Minister Wyatt. “In WA alone it’s projected employment in health, aged care and social assistance will reach more than 180,000 by 2022, as our population ages and the sector becomes increasingly diverse.

“To put this in perspective, this is around 50 per cent more workers than were in WA’s mining industry at the peak of the resources boom in 2012.

“Forums like this are crucial, to highlight the aged care sector’s potential and to canvas ideas from young leaders about getting the message out.”

Approximately 15 per cent, or 3.7 million people, are aged 65 and over in Australia, including more than 373,000 in Western Australia. That figure is expected to grow to 25 per cent by 2050.

Minister Wyatt said the Turnbull Government’s $5 billion increase in aged care funding over the forward estimates would drive even more career growth across the sector.

“Today, Australia’s aged care workforce is around 366,000 people but by 2050 we will need that to grow to nearly one million to meet demand,” said the Minister.

“Opportunities are growing, from health professionals to project management, administration, robotics, information technology, marketing, specialised construction, horticulture, interior design, fitness, catering and languages.”

The Turnbull Government is due to receive Australia’s first aged care workforce strategy by 30 June, which will include career and training pathways and requirements.

The Next Gen Young Leaders Forum was coordinated and hosted by provider organisation Leading Age Services Australia, to help increase youth take up of aged care careers.