Australia’s aged care workforce is expected to grow to nearly 830,000 by 2050. But while it’s a growing industry, it’s facing several challenges, including an ageing workforce, the increased demand for residential care placements, flexible delivery of these services, ensuring high levels of care, and the expansion of consumer directed care (CDC).
A major expansion of its workforce is needed, at a time when the labour market is getting tighter. Significantly, the time to achieve that skilled and sustainable aged care workforce is now.
Improving high turnover rates & ageing profile
The National Aged Care Alliance has developed a new and improved version of the Productivity Commission’s Caring for Older Australians Report (2011). It details the specific needs of the stakeholders.
It concluded the future requirements of the aged care system will require:
- An expanded workforce
- Providers to be more competitive and services to be more consumer focused in delivering support, so job design and planning (rostering etc.) allows staff to be more responsive and flexible in meeting individual needs
- New specialist and short term services, including palliative care, wellness services, respite care, sub-acute care, and rehabilitation.
Fair and competitive wages, improved employment conditions, better designed jobs, access to ongoing training and workforce development. These are all critical suggestions – to improve the high turnover rates and ageing profile.
Hudson’s The Ageing Population: Implications for the Australian Workforce, outlines how baby boomers will take irreplaceable levels of experience with them, as they retire. And, with Australia’s current fertility rate of 1.2%, which is already below replacement, a workforce shortage is coming (with the quality dropping too).
The looming skills shortage has encouraged new population trends, including new modes of work (organisations moving away from generic workforce approaches, towards individual tailoring), flexible learning, attracting & retaining older workers, work-life balance, all highlighted in the report.
And, progress is being made.
A multidisciplinary team has formed at Flinders University to explore these issues. Addressing the Australian Government’s Strategic Research Priority of ‘promoting population health and wellbeing’, the study will provide the first in-depth exploration to date of supply-side issues in the aged care workforce in Australia.
This project aims to provide new evidence on how to attract, retain and up-skill workers, as the aged care sector strives to achieve a sustainable and capable workforce, fit for the future needs of older Australians.
Change is happening at the ground level too.
Programs like the mhWSE Older Person’s Mental Health Awareness workshop, where, in one day, participants learn to better understand how to support older people’s mental health and understand mental illness. The course was created after research emerged that older people in the community, and aged care, are at risk of mental health decline.
Developing your aged care workforce
There are things you can do to achieve a skilled and sustainable aged care workforce – follow these 8 tips:
- Suit your staff (regardless of age) to tasks accordingly ensuring they’re confident and capable
- Be flexible to older worker’s needs and abilities
- Blend repetitive and physical tasks
- Pay attention to the design of work stations and equipment
- Teach all workers how to prevent injuries and identify risks
- Identify the capabilities required for all job roles now and into the future
- Be open to flexible work arrangements
- Communicate openly with workers – they should feel comfortable in discussing any potential issues.
A high quality workforce comes from a planned approach, understanding where aged care services meet the needs of the community, and implementing workforce development strategies to meet future workforce requirements.
If you would like to know more about workforce planning and development strategies for your organisation, please contact Wendy Perry via email@example.com.
This blog post focuses on the workforce opportunities in the South Australian state budget delivered by the Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis MP including employment, entrepreneurship, industry and innovation, regional support and STEM but also highlights a couple of areas that need more attention.
A new format for explaining the budget describes benefits for:
- Innovation and entrepreneurs
- The community
In a recent 4 Corners report on digital disruption and future jobs, the underpinning question was, “In the coming age of robotics and advanced IT, what will the jobs of the future be?”
Whilst there were futurists and researchers making predictions and quoting numbers or percentages of jobs that will be lost, this question requires consideration of evidence from workforce planning with employers and industry sectors, a global perspective, and grasp of the impact of new discover technologies on work.
The way to think about this is not that there is a list of ‘good’ jobs vs. ‘bad’ jobs because all jobs will be impacted by robotics, advanced IT and new discovery technologies. Continue reading
Entrepreneurship is a theme through job creation across New South Wales (NSW) in Budget 2016-17 focusing on growth areas like ICT, renewable energy and start-ups.
The state has recognised the latent potential of new and existing small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to boost the economy and job opportunities, especially for young people with the Jobs for NSW Fund providing targeted incentives and the Innovate NSW Program.
An interesting announcement included, Continue reading
The first thing that stands out in the Queensland Government’s Budget 2016-17 are the Regional Action Plans that mostly align with Local Government Areas and outlines an economic snapshot with a summary of investment for major projects, events, industry sectors and business attraction. This kind of information is very useful for those in economic development, education, employment, higher education, regional development, and Vocational Education and Training (VET).
But what would be even better is a Workforce Action Plan to match the Regional Plans and ensure that the plan for growth has a workforce to match. This would engage industry leaders and employers in developing local strategies for skills development for the 21st Century. Perhaps this could be one of the roles played by Jobs Queensland that is future workforce planning for each region based upon the action plans.
Let’s look at the budget in more detail, pulling out those areas of interest from the original budget papers and documents. Continue reading
The Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, together with the OECD, hosted a workshop on Engaging Employers in Skills Development for the 21st Century on 2-3 June 2016 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
- Local strategies for improving employer engagement in apprenticeships and other work-based training opportunities
- Helping employers engage with young people and career guidance
- International lessons on engaging with employers in emerging economies – Southeast Asia and India
- The future of work and the implications for skills development
- Leading practice in work-based learning: national and international perspective
If you are going to EduTECH next week be sure to say hello to Scott Frasard joining us from the USA who shared some thoughts on measuring the impact of training when we were in Austin in March 2016.
Scott’s recent role is as the Global Manager Training for ebay where they measure everything from order of satisfaction all the way up through return of investment.
This blog post follows an approach that could be applied to any training activity, accredited or not and overwhelmingly it is all about understanding the problem you are trying to fix and matching the measures to what it would be like if it was all working well. Continue reading
72% of pre-retirees over age 50 believe their ideal retirement will include paid employment – and plan to stay on the job, according to recent studies. Concerns about retirement and the fact we’re living longer are two main reasons driving this trend.
With older workers staying employed for longer, there’s less room for younger workers to advance. All companies need both experienced and young employees to sustain the business into the future. Phased retirement could be the answer. Continue reading
It’s no longer just working parents and care givers who are looking for flexibility. New research suggests that 70% of Australians want more flexible working conditions but we are too afraid to ask for them. Fear of losing a promotion and thinking flexible arrangements aren’t possible, often stops workers from even asking.
What is flexible working?
The Happiness Institute’s Dr Timothy Sharp believes employers can gain a lot from offering flexible working conditions. Continue reading
When you’ve advocated for the position of identifying industry and regional economic and workforce priorities, now and into the future, it’s great to see it in action.
Victoria is an example of having many of the components of a 21st Century Workforce with an aspiration for a World-class Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. On a fundamental level, if you have a plan for growth then you need a workforce to match, with a vision for the workforce and VET into the future.
This blog post explains the Future Industries Fund and aspects of the Victorian budget related to economic and regional development, education and entrepreneurship, employment and jobs, industry and workforce development, plus an invitation to join the Budget 2016 webinar. Continue reading