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Australia’s aged care workforce strategy

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The Aged Care Workforce Taskforce (“the Taskforce”) recently published a report detailing its strategy to address challenges facing the aged care industry workforce, titled A Matter of Care – Australia’s aged care workforce strategy.

As identified in the foreword to the report, the Taskforce’s brief was to develop an industry-drive workforce strategy to grow and sustain the workforce to ensure it can provide aged care services that can meet the care needs of our elderly now and into the future, irrespective of setting.

The report outlines 14 strategic actions to support Australia’s aged care workforce:

  1. Creation of a social change campaign to reframe caring and promote the aged care workforce;
  2. Voluntary industry code of practice;
  3. Reframing the qualification and skill framework and addressing current and future competencies and skills requirements;
  4. Defining new career pathways, including how the workforce is accredited;
  5. Developing cultures of feedback and continuous improvement;
  6. Establishing a new standard approach to workforce planning, including skills mix modelling;
  7. Implementing new attraction and retention strategies for the workforce;
  8. Developing a revised workforce relations framework to better reflect the changing nature of work;
  9. Strengthening the interface between aged care and primary/acute care;
  10. Improving training and recruitment practices for the Australian Government aged care workforce;
  11. Establishing an accord for remote and very remote areas;
  12. Establishing an Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research;
  13. Current and future funding considerations, including staff remuneration; and
  14. Transitioning the existing workforce to new standards.

The Taskforce aims to implement its workforce strategy over the next one to three years. It is unclear what impact the announcement of the Royal Commission will have on the work of the Taskforce.  The full report is available online on the Department of Health’s website or via this link.

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