In an effort to encourage young Australians to embark on careers in aged care and other health and social care roles, the Human Services Skills Organization has launched an online learning platform designed to increase training and employment rates in the care sector.
More than 250,000 workers will need to be recruited over the next five years to meet the growing needs of the care sector – this number will have to triple by 2050. However, a recent survey revealed that the industry will need to first dispel negative perceptions. when it comes to attracting young people to the care professions.
“Do they know that in an aged care facility there is such a range of opportunity – from all ancillary services, to care and support roles, to clinical roles and a range of other services?” Jodie Schmidt, CEO of HSSO, said Australian Aging Program.
HSSO’s plan to attract young workers to the sector aligns with key findings from the Aged Care Industry Workforce Council report released last year. The 132-page report contained strategies to address current and future challenges, including how to create social change to attract young people into care professions.
“It’s those under 25 who are underrepresented in the workforce profile,” Ms. Schmidt said. “Research shows that their knowledge of roles and opportunities in the sector is not high. We try to move them from awareness to consideration as to where they might take their careers.
The free online course explores the different roles available, as well as the skills and attributes needed to work in social services. Attributes such as “sound judgment, empathy and compassion for others,” Ms Schmidt said. In addition, “the will to want to make a difference”. A career in human services is, she said, “a purpose-built career.”
The National Skills Commission predicts that the health and social care sector – which includes aged care, childcare and services for the disabled – is expected to make the greatest contribution to the growth of the over the next few years, continuing the long-term trend as the main provider of new jobs in the Australian labor market.
HSSO is working alongside the ACIWC, Department of Health, Aged Care Peaks and major employers to ensure there is a workforce to meet the demands of the sector.
“As a country, we have to make decisions about what we value and what is important in terms of service delivery,” Ms. Schmidt said. “We have an aging population; we have a growing national disability program and a continued requirement to invest in public health – it’s going to take us all working together to solve the problems, given their scale.
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