With 83,000 more disability support workers needed over the next few years as the care and support sector becomes one of the fastest growing industries in Australia, organisations have a lot of training to do to keep up with demand.
The Australian Government has launched a campaign, called ‘A life changing life’, to encourage potential workers to consider careers in care in an attempt to address the need for aged care, veteran and disability support.
But the way to meet the demand for care workers is through traineeships, according to a care industry provider.
Hessel Group has started its own Group Training Organisation (GTO) to cater to the continued growth in care workforces including disability support, home and community living.
Gillian Elleway, Growth and Partnership Manager at Hessel Group, says there’s a huge requirement for varying streams of support workers and that demand has increased over the years due to the ageing population.
This, coupled with the Government's move to encourage older people to stay in the home longer, creates more demand for support workers.
The need for disability support workers is also growing rapidly, Ms Elleway says.
“There is a real workforce issue out there and we can help provide a pipeline of skilled staff into the sector as one part of the solution,” she says.
“Support workers are the blood that pulses through the veins of the care that is delivered in all of these organisations that provide a service.
“We want to make sure that there is an educated and prepared workforce out there to be able to look after people’s care needs.”
The organisation places trainees with host employers so they can complete their qualifications while working.
Ms Elleway says the traineeship model is ideal for both the trainee and the host employer.
“Taking on trainees is one really positive way to build your skilled workforce,” she says.
“Trainees generally respond to work in the social care sector because they’ve got an affinity for it and they are choosing that sector as a career path.
“Another benefit of a traineeship to the host employer is they’ve got an individual who wants to learn their industry and they learn your way.
“You get somebody with a completely clean slate, no bias, no preconceived ideas and you get to teach them your culture and values and how you want them to treat your clients.”
There are also some wage subsidies available to employers of trainees, in particular the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements which the Government has introduced to assist with the country’s recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19.