2007 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey
The Australian Government today released an independent report on Australia's aged care workforce.
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PDF printable version of 2007 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey (PDF 39 KB)
5 December 2008
The Australian Government today released an independent report on Australia’s aged care workforce.
The data was taken during the last month of the previous Government in November 2007.
Overall, the data shows an increase in the overall workforce size and an ageing workforce.
The report also showed that the proportion of Registered Nurses in aged care homes decreased by four per cent from 21 per cent in 2003 to just 16.8 per cent in 2007.
“Who Cares for Older Australians? – A picture of the residential and community-based aged care workforce” by the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University is based on the findings of the Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey conducted in November 2007.
The report was today presented to the Australian Government’s Aged Care Workforce Committee in Canberra.
The report complements the Rudd Labor Government’s election commitments to support, retain and encourage nurses into aged care.
“We are determined to increase the numbers of nurses working in the aged care sector to ensure care for our ageing population,” Mrs Elliot said.
Following consultation with stakeholders, the Australian Government has announced improvements to the Bringing Back the Nurses election commitment. (See accompanied statement)
“This Government is working with the nursing profession to build an evidence-based and workable policy to improve our frontline workforce.
“In addition to encouraging nurses directly back into residential aged care, the program will now be open to the growing community nursing sector.
“We know that as people age they want to remain independent and in their own homes and communities. These changes address the growing need for community based care,” Mrs Elliot said.
The program expansion now includes:
- Nurses returning to work in community based aged care and delivering Commonwealth funded packaged care such as Community Aged Care Packages, Extended Aged Care at Home and Extended Aged Care at Home (Dementia); and
- A one-off payment of $1,000 per eligible nurse (whether they are full time or part-time) will be paid to the employing residential aged care or community aged care service.
Cash bonuses of up to $6,000 are available to nurses and midwives who return to work in eligible hospitals, community health settings and aged care homes participating in the program.
Each eligible nurse who returns to work will receive $6,000 (or pro rata equivalent amount) in two instalments; one payment of $3,000 (or pro rata equivalent) after six months continuous employment and another $3,000 (or pro rata equivalent) after 18 months continuous employment.
For information on the changes please call the Aged Care Infoline on 1800 500 853.
Department of Health and Ageing’s website at:
For more information, contact Mrs Elliot's office on (02) 6277 7280
2007 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey Report This report is the follow-up study to the first one conducted in 2003 by the previous Government on the residential aged care workforce.
“Who cares for Older Australians?” – Key Facts
The 2007 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey Report explores both residential and community based workforces.
Source of survey results:
- Survey conducted on all residential aged care homes in Australia;
- Service outlets receiving funding from Commonwealth programs supporting community based aged care;
- Surveys of 7,566 direct care workers employed in residential homes; and
- 4,693 workers employed by community based providers.
Residential Aged Care workforce2007 report shows an increase in direct care employees in residential aged care homes between 2003 and 2007, rising from 115,660 to 133,314 – a 15 per cent rise.
In terms of Equivalent Full Time (EFT), it rose from 76,000 to 79,000.
There was a drop in EFT Registered nurses by 18.5 per cent, from 16,265 to 13,247.
Enrolled nurses as EFT dropped by 9.95 per cent within this period, though in terms of numbers increased from 15,604 to 16,293.
Allied health workers drop in EFT is by 9.9 per cent but in terms of numbers they increased from 8,895 in 2003 to 9,875 in 2007.
Personal carer increased in EFT by 17.7 per cent within this period but in terms of number they increases from 10,945 in 2003 to 9,856 in 2007.
Two-thirds of workers are permanent part time in this sector.
- 93 per cent of residential workers are women;
- 60 per cent of residential aged workers are over 40; and
- Two-thirds of the residential aged care workers were born in Australia.
Community Based workforce87,500 people employed by these outlets, 74,000 are direct care workers, of which
9,500 are nurses and 4,000 allied health workers.
91 per cent of community based workers are women
60 per cent of community based workforce is permanent part time.
30 per cent of community based workforce are younger than 45
Three -quarters of the community based aged care workforce were born in Australia
Issues raisedWorkers said they found considerable reward and satisfaction in the work of providing care for the elderly who cannot look after themselves.
They generally express reasonable levels of job satisfaction compared to the relevant Australian workforce, with some evidence of small increases in satisfaction among residential workers since 2003.
However, workers have concerns about pay, even though residential workers pay satisfaction is somewhat higher than in 2003.
Residential care workers also continue to be unhappy with the amount of time they are able to spend with the residents they care for.
Between 80 to 90 per cent of workers expected to continue in aged care work in the future – look beyond three years.
The number of vacancies for direct care workers in aged care homes varies by occupational group, with relatively more vacancies for Registered nurses than other occupations.
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