Home | News | New facility to train and retain aged care workers opens in the Northern Territory
CDU vice chancellor Scott Bowman with Minister for Jobs and Training Paul Kirby and Minister for Education and Seniors Lauren Moss at the construction site of the new training centre. Source: Glenn Campbell

New facility to train and retain aged care workers opens in the Northern Territory

A new aged care training centre has opened at Charles Darwin University's (CDU) Casuarina campus to better educate and prepare students. 

CDU and the Territory Labor Government invested $1.7 million into the centre, which includes four specialised beds and modern technology similar to that found in aged care facilities.

Aged Care Insite spoke with CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman, who said that "there will be a need for the next generation of health care workers".

"The centre is a dedicated space that's been built with modern training needs in mind," Bowman said. 

"It will provide training to help our students be better equipped as they enter the workforce to provide better support to staff and the residents they work within aged care settings." 

The NT has over 1500 aged care workers, though a high staff turnover, ranging from 30 to 70 per cent, could cause complications. 

The sector also faces difficulties due to remoteness, and a lack of suitable accommodation.

"We have a real problem in the NT with housing and there's an issue there in finding accommodation for people that want to come and work here," Bowman said. 

"We've got to look at how we can get similar training facilities and opportunities right around the Northern Territory."

He said that "working in partnership with those facilities and showing people that there can be really rewarding, meaningful, exciting career opportunities in aged care" can help solve the workforce shortage and retention issues. 

NT's population is ageing rapidly, pushing the need to expand aged care staff.

It is estimated the number of territorians aged over 65 will increase by 242 per cent by 2041, and the number of Indigenous Territorians aged 65+ is expected to increase by 340 per cent in the same period. 

Over a third of NT's aged care clients identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

"We're all getting old; the number of older people in the NT is growing. We're fortunate that more Aboriginal peoples are living into older age and there needs to be great care facilities for them," Bowman said. 

"The training and the facilities have to be culturally appropriate and culturally safe.

"We know that support, training and development are essential for the future workforce to ensure safe, high-quality aged care is delivered for Territorians."

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