With medical advances, people are living longer and Australia like many first world nations, has a rapidly aging population. The Productivity Commission has estimated that by 2050 the aged care workforce will need to grow from 366,000 workers to around 980,000 workers. The disability workforce is expected to double by 2020.

According to Minister the Aged Care, Ken Wyatt given the nature and scale of reforms that are under way in aged care, particularly the expected growth in the home care segment of the system, the composition of aged care workforce can be expected to change and skilled workers will be required in a broad range of roles from administration and management to care workers, nurses and allied health specialists.

“The need is so great that there will be an increasing demand for nurses and carers, this growing sector will support a wide range of professional positions. With workforce predictions of almost one million employees within the next 30 years, aged care should be seen as an increasingly attractive career path for young Australians”, said Minister Wyatt.

The Federal Government has committed $33 million to the Boosting Local Care Workforce Opportunity with the objective to create more jobs in regional areas.

Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said that ten organisations renowned for their business expertise were shortlisted as applicants for the program. “It is designed to increase capacity in rural, regional and outer-metropolitan areas so NDIS participants and older Australians seeking aged care services have access to high quality services and support.”

Applications for Boosting Local Care Workforce Opportunity are due by Tuesday, 26 September 2017 and will be followed by a rigorous assessment process.

The lead organisation selected through the grant process will be responsible for delivering, managing and reporting to the Australian Government on the three initiatives that make up the package:

  • $9.1 million for the Care Workforce Regional Coordinator Initiative, including engaging up to 25 skilled Care Workforce Regional Coordinators across Australia supporting NDIS and aged care providers in regional, rural and outer metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, and raising awareness of new employment opportunities.
  • $4.1 million for the nationally focused Specialist Coordinators Initiative, taking a national approach to disability sector market issues by establishing up to 10 Specialist Coordinators to address key focus areas.
  • $19.8 million for the Sector Transition and Employer Support Initiative assisting eligible NDIS service providers with professional advice expertise and small grants to help them to prepare their businesses to become NDIS ready.

The successful organisation is expected to be finalised by December 2017 and the package to roll out shortly after.