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Government to roll out aged care teaching centres

Nurses have welcomed the federal government’s commitment to fund new aged care teaching centres to help boost Australia’s workforce.

The Federal Minister for Ageing Mark Butler announced $8.25 million in grants to universities and aged care facilities to set up integrated teaching environments similar to teaching hospitals.

The 16 grants available through the Teaching and Aged Care Services (TRACS) initiative will cover a range of disciplines including nursing, psychology, medicine, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help attract and train new graduates in the sector.

By 2050, more than 1 in 20 working Australians will be working in aged care.

Australian Nursing Federation Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the new funding will help develop the aged care workforce urgently required to meet the challenges of Australia’s ageing population.

Aged care faces a shortage of more than 20 000 nurses across the sector.
“We are witnessing an increasing number of highly-qualified nurses leaving the sector and new funding arrangements like TRACS are a positive initiative for the aged care workforce,” she said.

Butler said the initiative aimed to bring research, training and industry together to support the next wave of workers.

"It is critical that as the population ages, we ensure we have a highly skilled workforce and that the career path is attractive to the younger generations who are considering a future in the aged care industry," Butler said.

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