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National approach to workforce needed: LASA

In a rapidly ageing country, a national approach to planning, training and monitoring of the aged care workforce is essential.

This was the main recommendation made by LASA in its submission to the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce this week.

Chief executive Sean Rooney said a national approach would keep design and planning, pay scales and retention strategies consistent across the board, and strengthening the workforce should be a top priority.

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

Rooney said the industry had welcomed the opportunity to work with the Federal government’s Aged Care Workforce Taskforce, which is responsible for developing a wide-ranging workforce strategy.

LASA’s recent submission to the taskforce was made up of 23 recommendations, and asked that the government: commit to a national process of planning and monitoring the workforce, use an aged care training and capability framework to specify curriculum for those preparing to enter the workforce, focus on quality of outcomes for senior Australians rather than the quantity of staffing levels, ensure the sector is adequately resourced to attract and retain a high-performing workforce.

Rooney said that it was also important to acknowledge how aged care workers made a positive difference to the lives of seniors each 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 1.3 million older Australians. This is something our industry is immensely proud of and something our nation is very grateful for,” 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 June 30 this year.

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One comment

  1. I find it extraordinary that all the talk about making the aged care sector/workforce better etc does not ever talk about the need to register the personal care workers that are the bulk of the workplaces and without them accreditation would not succeed. Registration would place all under the same umbrella so codes of practice and codes of conduct would be relevant for all and not have to have separate codes that are only barriers to best practice. Workers need to be empowered to specialize in their own areas making them able to seek leadership positions as professionals and achieve remuneration that is appropriate just like nursing. Stop creating barriers, undermining professionalization and careers in aged care for personal care workers and please stop patronizing from a safe distance of the board room.