Australia’s personal care workforce is being strengthened and increased under a $91.8 million Morrison Government initiative helping older people live at home for longer.
In another comprehensive response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Home Care Workforce Support Program will help administrators attract, train and retain approximately 13,000 new personal care workers by mid-2023.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said the program would rapidly increase the number and skills of people providing aged care in the home.
“The grants will support the employment of 6000 new personal care workers in 2021-22 and 7000 more in the following year, including an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personal care workers,” Minister Hunt said.
“They will ensure new and existing personal care workers have the skills and support required to provide quality aged care services to all seniors who need them.”
It will also improve links with the training and recruitment, helping the broader aged care sector, including residential care, boost its work pool.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator Richard Colbeck, said expanding and improving the workforce was crucial for quality in home care.
“The Government is committed to ensuring older Australians can remain in their homes and in the communities they know and love, for as long as possible,” Minister Colbeck said.
“Making sure we have enough carers with the right skills to provide these services is vital as we expand the number of care packages and wipe out waiting lists.
“Our reforms will ensure all senior Australians can access the care they want and need, when they need it.”
The Home Care Workforce Support program will be provided through an open grant process, with one grant for each state and territory (NSW and ACT combined) and an additional two grants directed to regional and remote areas.
Applications are open now until Friday, 27 August 2021.
Recognising the importance partnerships and local solutions to address workforce needs, there are a range of eligible organisations who can apply for funding under this grant opportunity, including from the aged care, training and employment sectors.
Joint (consortia) applications are also welcome.
Grant recipients will use grant funding to support home care providers by:
- Screening candidates for suitability to promote training completion rates and job retention;
- Mentoring, support services and communities of practice to support workers who are new to the sector;
- Promoting and supporting work placements for people who are undertaking aged care training;
- Training existing staff so they can supervise students and new staff; and
- Helping providers attract and retain staff.
The size of each grant under the program will mirror the region’s demand for home care packages, with a loading to reflect increased costs in regional and remote communities.
The Home Care Workforce Support Program is part of the Morrison Government’s investment of $338.5 million over three years to grow, train and upskill the aged care workforce and drive improvements in the safety and quality of care.
The grants program will complement a range of activities by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to encourage people to take up careers in the aged care sector, including residential and home care.
They include job fairs specific to the care sector, resources to help job seekers understand the sector and be more likely to get a job, and training for people who work with job seekers and employers.
Details of the grants program can be found on the Australian Government GrantConnect website.