Webinar recording – Supporting WA home care providers to recruit and train personal care workers

This recording is of the supporting WA home care providers to recruit and train personal care workers webinar that was held on 30 March 2023.



Andrew Dunbar:

Hi everyone. Thank you for attending our webinar on the Home Care Workforce Support Program.

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today. For me that’s beautiful Ngunnawal country in the national capital. I’d also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present as well as acknowledging any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are with us today.

My name’s Andy Dunbar and I’m an Assistant Director in the Workforce Training Section in the Aged Care Workforce Branch at the Department of Health and Aged Care. The purpose of today’s webinar is to provide information to aged care providers on our Home Care Workforce Support Program and give you an explanation as to how it can help you to attract personal care workers to the sector. We’ll just move to the next slide please.

So first off we’ll just provide an introduction of the program, what it aims to do and how it can benefit your organisation. You’ll then hear from our West Australia consortium North Metropolitan TAFE and their partners Amana Living Aged Care Services, South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed on what they are doing to attract, train and retain new personal care workers to the home sector in WA. North Metro TAFE is represented today by Leigh Hambly who’s the Director of Strategic Industry Projects and Leanne Drewitt who’s the Industry Engagement Officer, Strategic Industry Partnerships.

Case studies will also be shared and you can hear from providers and participants about their experiences in the program. There will also be a Q&A session at the end where we encourage you to ask any questions you may have on the program. If you have any questions please use the Slido feature on the right hand side of the screen. If it’s not there you’ll be able to follow the link and open it up in the browser from the chat. This is particularly important if you’re watching this from an iPad or an iPhone.

Feel free to pop any questions into there as we go along and we’ll endeavour to get to them all. If we don’t have time to get to them today we’ll address them as a follow up whether they’re via an email or something printed on the program’s website. But everything will be addressed. I’ll also ask that you don’t completely close the Webex window down on your way out before completing a short survey that takes less than a minute to complete. This will ensure that we can continue to refine the content for these kind of webinars and maximise the use of your time for such events in future. We’ll just move to the next slide please.

The Home Care Workforce Support Program aims to grow the home care workforce by supporting providers to attract, train and retain new and existing workers in the aged care sector. The program is funding six organisations and consortia to support providers to grow the workforce by 13,000 new personal care workers nationally. The organisations are Council on the Ageing with their consortium partners for Queensland, Settlement Services International for the ACT and New South Wales, Aged and Community Care Providers Association with their consortium partners for Victoria and Tasmania, North Metro TAFE and their consortium partners who we’ll hear from today in Western Australia, Apprenticeship Careers Australia for South Australia and the Northern Territory and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for rural and remote communities.

These organisations will support home care providers with activities to attract and recruit new personal care workers to the sector as well as helping with capacity building so existing staff can supervise and train them on the job. Key tasks include promotional activities to raise awareness of career opportunities in the sector, screening potential workers for the right skills and attributes and getting candidates work ready through the provision of pre-employment training. They will also support new personal care workers to complete high quality training including facilitating access to subsidies to support that training, supporting work placement opportunities and providing outreach services to new starters.

I’d just like to spruik a couple of health programs before we get into today’s webinar. So one that you may not be aware of is the Equip aged care learning modules which is another program that our Department is running that aims to improve the training, skills and qualifications of personal care workers. They’re currently being developed by the University of Tasmania led by their Dementia Research and Education Centre to develop a series of short online learning modules to help develop the skills and capability of aged care workers. The Equip learning modules cover a range of topics which include dementia care, palliative and end of life care, trauma informed care, wound management, cross-cultural awareness, oral health, mental health and wellbeing and falls management. This program is available free of charge to aged care workers, volunteers and care givers as well as those supporting loved ones and anyone with an interest in improving care for older adults. It was launched in October 2022 and further content will be rolled out progressively. All modules under the program are scheduled to be available by May 2023 and you can access this at www.equiplearning.utas.edu.au. And if you missed that link we will send it out as part of a follow up to everyone who attended today.

We also have the Care and Support Campaign. It’s just a reminder of the Government’s A Life Changing Life campaign which is still underway and it aims to generate interest in the care and support sector which includes aged care, disability support and Veteran’s care. It’s been relaunched and shares stories of people who work in the various care sectors. There’s a range of resources and links in there that may be useful for you as employers as well as any potential workers in the sector. You can find out more information about this at careandsupportjobs.gov.au/resources. Again if you missed that link we will be sure to send it out as part of our follow up.

I’d now like to introduce Leigh and Leanne who as I mentioned will be the representatives for Western Australia from North Metro TAFE. Leigh has as Master of Project Management from Edith Cowan University which is recognised globally by the Project Management Institute and has postgraduate qualifications in social impact from the Business School at the University of Western Australia. Leigh is highly engaged in the project management sector as an active member of the Project Management Institute and is a sessional lecturer at Edith Cowan University lecturing in project management. She is also a highly engaged member of the social impact community in Western Australia and specialises in projects with purpose. Some of her previous work includes high profile projects in the homeless space, having managed complexity and cross-sector stakeholder management.

Leanne’s career has spanned 25 years in senior leadership roles delivering key projects, working collaboratively, creating successful partnerships and implementing innovative strategies to deliver outcomes. Leanne has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement across multiple industries including the not for profit, arts and culture, resources, Government and health sectors.

I’ll now hand over to Leigh Hambly and Leanne Drewitt from our WA consortium to discuss how their organisation can help you meet your workforce needs.

Leigh Hambly:

Well thank you very much for your introduction Andy. I’m just sharing my slides at the moment.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘WA Home Care Workforce’, ‘Support Program’, ‘Welcome’]

There we go. So welcome everyone to the webinar today.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘WA Home Care Workforce’, ‘Support Program’, ‘Acknowledgement of Country’]

Our WA program acknowledges traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. I’m presenting from Perth, Western Australia which is Whadjuk Noongar land and Leanne is dialling in from Pingelly which is Kaartdijin Noongar land. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

I’d also like to acknowledge our home care providers in Western Australia who are dialling in today and attending this webinar. We genuinely appreciate the work that you do in helping our older Australians to live well in their homes and stay connected to their community.

I’d like to draw your attention to some of the terminology that we use in this presentation today because our terminology may be different to yours. I wanted to point out that we call the people who are working in home care as home care workers. And while that might be obvious, we’ve noticed that across the sector you’re recruiting generally for home care workers but calling the position as personal care workers. So we’re referring to everyone as a home care worker as an umbrella term for domestic, social and personal care tasks. This is a very important recruitment strategy. Making this distinction is essential in the recruitment process. If you recruit for personal care workers and then their tasks end up being domestic cleaning you won’t retain them. If you recruit for personal care workers specifically perhaps you might turn off people who are looking for domestic tasks.

And I understand while some home care providers state all home care workers need to do personal care there are still other providers who will split those tasks.

We’re also referring to candidates and these people we’re referring to are potential home care workers as candidates.

I’d love to emphasise – and no doubt this has been mentioned before but needs highlighting again – that this program is completely coming to you free of charge. It’s funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care so you can access this. So it’s free for home care workers, for candidates and providers.

My key points, four key points that I’ll be covering today, are who we are in WA, our approach, how we help mainly the jobseeker to find home care and how we help home care providers, and most importantly how to connect with us.

So who we are in WA. So our consortium in WA is comprised of North Metro TAFE as lead agency, South Metro TAFE, Programmed Training Services and Amana Living Training Institute. And we’re conducting the WA Home Care Workforce Support Program.

So our core business is training. All four of us are RTOs but because of the need in the sector for workers the consortium has become agile in our approach and recognise this program needs to put recruitment first. Recruit the worker and then train. And following recruitment training needs to accommodate the individual needs of the providers. That’s where we need to connect with as many providers as we can.

Now the name of our program WA Home Care Workforce Support Program is very unsexy. Sorry Andrew. And we have multiple logos as you can see. So it was always a decision to rebrand and we have rebranded as you can see as the Care Community.

I still can’t believe that the Carecommunity.org.au was available and so our journey as the Care Community has begun.

Our purpose is in line with yours, to help older Australians live well in their homes and stay connected to their community for longer.

To fulfil this we’re recruiting new home care workers, offering training opportunities and supporting providers such as yourselves.

It’s very important to us that highlighting our number one brand objective is to attract new home care workers to the sector. So we’re doing this. First of all it’s vital to raise the profile of the home care worker. We’re achieving this through having real, authentic home care workers giving authentic commentary in our marketing campaign. This photo that you see is of Tania who works in home care. Tania and other home care workers posed recently for professional photos and were interviewed on video about what they love about their job. It was actually quite moving being in the studio. A lot of people were influenced and emotionally connected to their stories. Now this campaign will be rolling out very soon across all media channels.

Another message we want to include is that care can be simple, helping out older Australians with tasks that are simple for us but difficult for them. Things like making the bed, meal prep, shopping, basic cleaning and transport. These are easy things for us to navigate but difficult for them.

Our message includes the availability of fee free training including manual handling, assisting clients with medication, infection control and the like.

And most importantly our messaging is centred to belonging. I belong to the Care Community. We want new and existing home care workers to feel that they belong to a network of support, of mentoring and of training. And with our program they have a supported journey of belonging.

So what’s our approach to our program? Our scope is the whole entire state of Western Australia which is challenging enough. There are nine regional areas in Western Australia. The Gascoyne, the Goldfields-Esperance, Great Southern, Kimberley, Mid West, Peel, Pilbara, South West and the Wheatbelt. And currently Leanne is in the Wheatbelt in Pingelly.

As you are aware these areas cover vast kilometres of country. Western Australia is Australia’s largest state with a total land area of over 2.5 million square kilometres. The nine regions all have different demographics, different sub-cultures, different needs and challenges, but they also have many opportunities. And in our place-based approach centred on asset-based community development which is ABCD for short, we’re focusing on tapping into what is strong in these regions not what is wrong. Our team are looking at the strengths in the community to build onto or to connect the already existing resources.

Rather than having a narrow lens we use a systems thinking approach to look to expand the range of options available for problem solving. Because we don’t operate is an island but rather the aged care sector is affected by other sectors with constantly changing external forces, this makes the challenge very complex. Sectors are increasingly interconnected and interdependent with uncontrollable external forces such as inflation, regulation, low unemployment rates and other economic challenges, creating unpredictability and uncertainty.

Systems thinking is a way of making sense of this complexity and to expand the range of options available for solving a problem. Providers are time poor, we understand that, and don’t have capacity to take this on. So that’s where we find our niche.

We understand that the sector faces challenges outside of its control. COVID for example, thin employment market, increased burden on health systems, housing scarcity especially in the regions, childcare constraints for employees, especially again in the regions, cost of living increases, rate of pay, vehicle ownership costs and petrol prices.

We understand that the sector also faces the enormity and increased urgency to deliver services for an ageing population. That is why it’s so important to come together in forums like this to collaborate and share understanding.

To reinforce in our presentation our colleagues at the HSSO or the Health Services Skills Organisation, part of the Victoria and Tasmania consortium, commissioned Bernard Salt and The Demographics Group to unpack what the 2021 Census tells us about the care and support workforce and those who rely on it. The Big Care Shift report illustrates their findings. It raises questions about the scale and expansion of the healthcare and social assistance workforce. It raises the question how can we support a workforce that is expanding at a rate of 24,000 extra workers per year, faster than any other workforce in the country?

And the slide to the right of Mr Bernard Salt you’re probably squinting to try and see is enlarged on this slide here.

This illustrates care has been the big growth industry for over the last five years and this table is showing Australia-wide statistics but WA stats look the same.

The next table illustrates that demand for aged care services specifically based on population increase of people over 80 years of age will increase and peak in 2027. And you can see where we are at the moment on the graph and the fact that we really need home care services now and where we will be in 2027.

It’s so important to connect with our program.

So again back to systems thinking. How will this approach help? Our team needs to engage and is engaging in every sector that surrounds aged care including the sector itself. We’re conducting massive stakeholder engagement exercises and to be effective with stakeholder engagement and complex projects such as this requires complex stakeholder mapping, analysis, identifying areas to deliver stakeholder value, bespoke communication strategies because of our different regions, and ensuring ethical discourse.

All stakeholders are mapped and connection activities, contact details and best method for contact recorded. The network data obtained and recorded will become an asset to future endeavours and vital information to keep informing the sector as we go on.

So the project team are tasked with building relationships across WA’s network including decision makers in local, state and federal Government, WA aged care sector, every RTO involved in delivering home care related courses, so not just the consortium four, and every organisation managing home care aged care workers. We’re looking at the business sector, at CALD groups, culturally and linguistically diverse, multicultural organisations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, community groups and WA employment service providers.

One example of this is Local Jobs for Local People.

In terms of our activity and our collaborations with Local Government this again is a very place‑based strategy where we collaborate with a specific Local Government Authority or LGA to conduct information sessions for local residents interested in working in home care and conducted in a local venue. This is very much about asset-based community development and using the existing resources in a particular area. So the LGA distribute communications about the information sessions through their own channels and this gives a high level of credibility for our program and a high level of reach into the community. The information sessions are run by our project team in conjunction with consortium partners Programmed. This strategy has been highly successful in pilot projects and we are rolling this out across metro areas and regional areas.

Another example is tertiary. WA’s up and coming doctors are engaging with our program, UWA medical students and also medical students from Notre Dame and Curtin and we’re matching them with providers. The benefit to these medical students is that they are autonomous in their home care roles and can practice their interpersonal skills in real situations. We’re also looking at the traditional allied health and community courses as well.

The CALD sector. We’ve reached out to the Red Cross community and run information sessions with their clients in their humanitarian program. This has been very interesting and some of their clients include Ukrainian refugees, refugees from Myanmar and also South America. Clients in the humanitarian program have complete rights to work in Australia and fully supported to work here. Also we have our traditional market segments as well.

Now I need to touch on the social impact of this program. We’re measuring more than numbers. This program will deliver value in many ways. And how do we measure how much a project improves people’s lives? Whose lives? The home care worker, the recipient of home care, the home care providers, the unemployed or the underemployed, the under-skilled. We have this opportunity to influence the sector in WA to improve home care workers’ employment conditions to support sustainable change. And so we’re measuring our impact. One particular avenue is interviewing diverse stakeholders, identifying where meaningful change has occurred, recording and analysing.

Also the retention strategy workshops. We’re engaged with the industry advisory group that is made up of many home care providers. And we encourage you if you would like to join our industry advisory group please let us know because you are welcome. And we workshop strategies to influence change together.

There’s also emerging opportunities, further opportunities to innovate measurements in this program. And as solutions emerge opportunities to measure are also emergent.

So how do we help?

Our main product is the job opportunity. It’s also our service to candidates and it’s our service to you as providers. The job opportunity itself is flexible work opportunities, job security, work with purpose, career progression and training opportunities.


Unidentified Female:

The people that I meet are just phenomenal. They’re caring and they’re sincerely grateful for every minute that you spend with them. And it’s rewarding and there’s no stress. You go home and you’re happy and you put a smile on someone’s face and they put a smile on yours.


Leigh Hambly:

So how do we help candidates? We help candidates by getting them job ready. We make the introduction to employers and we provide subsidised health related training through our partners including Programmed, South Metro and North Metro and other RTOs. And we also help with paying for a first aid certificate. We also provide support in the first few months of their new job in home care.

The candidate journey. We have many outreach activities then that leads to registration with our program. We give candidates information. We screen them based on minimum requirements that we’ve heard from providers of what they need and then we match them with providers based on skills, minimum requirements, location and availability. And post-employment support is very important.

So a word from our candidates. We get a lot of feedback. We get comments like ‘I love it. I feel it might be my forever job’. That makes us very happy that we’ve found the right person for home care.

So providers what do we do for you? We make the introduction to pre-screened candidates to fill your vacancies. So also with the training North Metro, South Metro TAFE can assist you with fee free training with bespoke delivery in a way that is best suited to your organisation and we can also provide training vouchers with Amana Living Training, our consortium partner, for bespoke three day induction programs, supervisor courses, dementia programs, grief and loss for carers and mental health first aid for carers. And we’re extending that list of courses as well.

Again we invite you to industry advisory group workshops where we can facilitate learnings on retention strategies. And we offer innovative solutions too.

… capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne because of the network of public transport. But as you know for WA this is a barrier. In fact we have some candidates who have worked in Sydney and Melbourne without a driver’s licence dependent on public transport. But it doesn’t work here. So we’ve partnered with Uber Australia and providers to run a pilot program. The provider pays the per kilometre rate that they would normally pay the worker but the program, our program, pays the kilometre difference and the start and end journey. This overcomes two major employment barriers. So we’d like to hear from providers if they would like to run a trial in their organisation using Uber.

Also when it comes to peer support program industry recognise that peer support is a major factor in retaining staff but sustainable models are the key. We’re codesigning a peer support program with existing home care workers plus one large provider and one CALD community provider. If you’d like more information on the peer support program or would like to join in these pilot projects please reach out to us.

Our peer support program is very much about trying to put together a sustainable model and this involves utilising our website which is actually a stakeholder engagement tool. It’s a digital platform called the Engagement Hub hosted as Carecommunity.org.au. When candidates register with our program they’re registered with the platform and we can keep communication with them throughout the project lifecycle, offering training opportunities with on platform scheduling and booking systems, offering connections to peer support, managing retention statistics and we can download reports. We keep that ongoing communication through Engagement Hub.

And peer supports. We need to offer providers, your employees supervisor training and create a program of events to engage with their peers, and offer accessible training and collaboration with providers. So again please reach out.

I’d like to throw over to Miriam to play a video from some of our providers.


[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Care Community’]

§(Music Playing)§

Andries Pretorius

Southern Cross Care WA

I think it’s a great way to bring the aged care community together and to move outside our own individual comfort zones and area of concern. I work for Southern Cross care. It actually helps us to preselect a group of people who would be perfect for our environment. So it actually saves us a lot of time.

Veronica Phillips

Southern Districts Support

Well we’ll be able to expand our services which we want to do and we can’t do that without staff. So pure and simply it will just be amazing if we could just get the staff.

Helen Morton

Pingelly Somerset Alliance

I have such a very clear understanding of the social, the financial and the economic benefits for enabling people to stay living in their own homes. People want to stay living at home, connected to family, to friends, to their community that they identify with. They don’t want to leave especially at that time of their life.

[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Care Community’]


Leigh Hambly:


What we need from you guys. It is so important that you connect with us. We’re actually not privy to the registrations today for privacy reasons so we really need you to reach out. The contact details and the backgrounds and the CVs for these particular candidates, we need you to pick up the process really quickly. We need you to call them straight away. If you can’t employ them straight away because you’ve got different HR processes you need to keep in contact with them. Reach out to them by the phone, give them a t-shirt from your organisation, make them feel included, make them feel like they belong to your community. I can’t emphasise this enough that fast tracked HR processes are so important.

And lastly how do you connect with us? Well you can go to Carecommunity.org.au, our website. You can also email us directly at homecare@nmtafe.wa.edu.au. You can follow us on Instagram @carecommunitywa and you can follow us on Facebook and also connect with us and interact with us on LinkedIn.

I thank you very much for your time and again I encourage you to reach out to us and connect with us. And I will hand back to Andy to moderate questions. Thanks Andy.

Andrew Dunbar:

Leigh thank you for that. That’s a great presentation. And just a reminder please use the Slido feature which should be at the bottom right of your screen. There are no dumb questions remember. Everything will get addressed at some point whether we get there today or whether we follow up with you later on.

So I’ve got the first question here which is:

Q:        What support is available to CALD participants who join the program?

Leigh Hambly:

Okay. So that is an excellent question. So we have some members of our team, our internal care community team who are well versed in other languages. Some languages include Spanish. And we have some resources within the college at North Metro TAFE to help support the CALD sector. A lot of our applicants come from the Red Cross and so they’re fully supported by the Red Cross as well. Our other applicants come from what’s called AMEP courses and that’s our Adult Migrant English Program. And so they’re supported by TAFE as well with their English.

I should raise the fact that a lot of people actually have a lot of experience from their own home country when it comes to assisting the older generation. They’re used to looking after their parents, their elderly aunties, uncles. It’s just within their culture. And these are wonderful people who have so much care, respect and they treat older people with such dignity and care so they’re an ideal cohort. We’re addressing English issues through the AMEP English program and other programs.

I think one hurdle in particular is not having a driver’s licence that’s recognised in Australia. And it takes a long time in WA as it does in other states to get your driver’s licence. So we’re trying to support applicants there. But if we have some providers who are interested in the Uber program I think that’s an interesting pilot to trial and please reach out to us.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh.

Q:        How many candidates have been placed through this program to date? Have you got any figures for the minute or I guess at the last point you’ve evaluated?

Leigh Hambly:

That’s a bit of a cheeky question isn’t it?

Look we’re working through our numbers. We have a huge amount of registrations. We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of registrations. It’s about HR departments within providers getting back to us quickly that you’ve employed candidates and making that process really quick because we lose people in that funnel. We’re in competition with other markets for these candidates. So it’s great that we’ve just received notice that these workers will get a 15% pay rise. That’s fantastic. But 15% of $25 an hour is still not very much. So we’re competing with McDonald’s who if you work on a Sunday you get $30 an hour, or BP down the road, the petrol station, you get $40 an hour and you’re not required to use your own vehicle for the job. So that’s the kind of market we’re competing with.

And also in WA we have a very strong mining sector and so people who are completely unskilled are still being snapped up in the mining sector as well. So we have some challenges but we’re looking at some pretty good statistics for this quarter.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh. I might ask I guess a similar question which I think ties in with the answer there so you might just have a couple of things to throw in.

Q:        Are there any tips on how to compete in a tight labour market other than hourly rate?

Leigh Hambly:

Definitely. You’ve just got to find the right people and treat them well. I mean you’ll stay in a job for longer if the pay’s not great but you’re treated well. And if you’re picked up straight away in the recruitment process, if the communication channels are open, if you’re well supported in your role and you’re happy in your job, that’s why you’ll stay in your workplace.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh. We’ve got a good one here for you both.

Q:        The website only offers candidate registration. How do we register as a provider?

Leigh Hambly:

Yes. We thought we won’t make things any more admin heavy for providers. We won’t make you register through the website and go through that system. You just email us directly. Leanne is our person on the team who is in charge of liaison with providers as well as myself and you will get straight through to her at homecare@nmtafe.wa.edu.au.

Andrew Dunbar:

Great. Thank you very much.

Q:        Will formal training or qualifications be required moving forward?

So I’m not sure if this is a question for you or maybe for us more as a Government policy.

Leigh Hambly:

Well I could for the first part. I’ve heard from the council on training in WA and they are saying it’s a recommendation from the Royal Commission but it’s not an absolute obligation. And so they can’t see it being mandatory because they tried this in child care, they made the qualification mandatory, and they’re already desperate for workers in that sector and it just fell in a heap. So perhaps you want to continue Andrew.

Andrew Dunbar:

Yeah I think we’d just follow up on that by noting that it is definitely a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety as part of their final report. But at this stage I don’t think any decision has been made. As Leigh mentioned this is a highly competitive labour market. To my knowledge it’s not on the agenda at this stage. And it’s really up to employers to decide what they need from their workers and how they can develop their workforce as your own expectation.

We’ve got another which is probably a Departmental question here.

Q:        Can you recruit international workers and what are the visa and residency requirements?

And this is a bit of a doozy and probably a bit above our scope here in the Aged Care Workforce Branch. But I would say watch this space. It’s my understanding that there’s a lot of things happening as far as migration and aged care. So yeah just watch this space and hopefully there will be some announcements or something soon. But there’s obviously a whole range of visa categories and things there. I don’t think I can speak to it now but we might follow up post this, take it on notice if anything does change.

The next question is:

Q:        How are candidates screened?

Leigh Hambly:

Leanne would you like to answer one of these questions? I feel like I’m hogging it.

Leanne Drewitt:

Absolutely. So we have a dedicated team. As soon as a candidate is registered our dedicated team call them within 24 hours and talk to them. I also meet with all of our registered home care providers and so I understand and share with that team what are your minimum requirements for your home care workers. So our team will call those candidates, check off those minimum requirements such as driver’s licence, right to work in Australia, their comprehensive insurance, their own car, COVID vaccinations for those employers who are still requiring it, plus whatever other minimum requirement is according to our home care providers.

Once we’ve done that and have their resume we are also paying and booking them into first aid if that is required by the employer we’re looking at placing them with. And then we look at the skills match and the area that they live and match them to one of our registered providers that way.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leanne.

Q:        Are we able to access funds for supervision and backfill support for supervisors?

Leigh Hambly:

Yes. Reach out to us and we will help you with that one.

Andrew Dunbar:

It’s probably a good time to plug the email address again or the website if you want Leigh.

Leigh Hambly:

Yes. Website and the direct email for Leanne is homecare@nmtafe.wa.edu.au.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you. Just so you know we’ve only got two questions left so please send them through. Anything at all. We’ll try and get to it like I said, otherwise we can take it on notice if we can’t answer it today. Someone said:

Q:        We thought we were registered however have not received any referrals as of yet.

Should they follow up directly with you?

Leigh Hambly:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Leanne Drewitt:

Yes. Please email me. Please email me. Reconnect and certainly I’ll ring you straight away.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you Leanne.

Q:        Can you please confirm if these services are available for CHSP providers?

So I’ll take that one. And when this program was initially designed it was for home care providers only which was people providing home care packages. But again I say watch this space. It’s very much under consideration by our Minister currently and we’re really hoping to broaden it, to make sure that other providers such as CHSP will be able to benefit from the program. That’s Commonwealth Home Support Program. Sorry for using an acronym there in case anyone didn’t know what I was talking about.

We’ve also got:

Q:        Are those undertaking a Certificate III in Individual Care already receiving this training or should they do it separately?

Leigh Hambly:

I’m sorry. I missed that one.

Andrew Dunbar:

The question is:

Q:        Are those undertaking a Certificate III in Individual Care already receiving this kind of training or should they do it separately?

So I guess is someone undertaking the Certificate III allowed to join your program?

Leigh Hambly:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. So being North Metro TAFE and South Metro TAFE we have a lot of candidates who are already enrolled in those courses and we’re matching them with providers. So absolutely. If you’re already in one of those courses we have providers willing and able to take you. It’s a good idea to complete your training but you can work alongside. So don’t quit the Cert III and take up home care as the job. Do it side by side.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh. That’s the last question so we might just drag this out for another minute or two just to give anyone an opportunity to ask a question. Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Leigh Hambly:

Or email us.

Andrew Dunbar:

Yes. Absolutely. Please follow up. Whilst we’re giving everyone an opportunity here – here we go.

Q:        Can you offer a traineeship or apprenticeship type offer to attract staff?

Leigh Hambly:

We are working on traineeships specifically. The difficulty with traineeships and the reason why they haven’t really taken off in WA is solving that supervisor issue. So you’ve got a trainee who’s working in home care. It’s very much a particular role where you’re working on your own and going into people’s homes on your own. And a traineeship is supervised. So yes we can backfill some of that supervision but we’re trying to look at it holistically as a traineeship package and trying to solve that problem and looking at using programs to help us to smooth out that system. And we’ll be back in touch with a traineeship option very soon.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh. The next question is:

Q:        Can we refer to you if we have recruited someone and they do not have a first aid certificate?

Leigh Hambly:

Yes we’re happy to do that.

Part of this program is to upskill existing workforce as well. So we’re happy to take on your new recruits and help to upskill them.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh.

Q:        How does the support in the first few months look like for a candidate? Do they get contacted regularly by your staff?

Leigh Hambly:

Yes they absolutely get contacted regularly. And they get a phone call. If that’s not successful they’ll get an email. And they’re registered through our website so they get updated information through that about training opportunities and peer support connections as well.

Andrew Dunbar:


Q:        How do you help candidates to understand the role of a home care worker? The mismatch of expectations often causes people to leave quickly.

That’s a good question that one.

Leigh Hambly:

That is a good question. Well a lot of information sessions are run by Leanne in conjunction with Programmed so I’ll throw over to her on this one.

Leanne Drewitt:

Yes. We’ve designed a two hour information session in our local communities in partnership with a lot of our Local Government authorities. In that session we go into in-depth detail in the first hour of what is a home care worker role, what does it look like and all of the career pathway within that and real life situations on what it looks like daily. And then we spend time, round table discussions, looking at the softer skills of those people attending that session, those important interactional, interpersonal skills, that care factor, and then we also have question time where they can ask us questions about the role. And we do usually invite some of our providers who are based in that local area to also come along and field those questions from their perspective and knowledge as well.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leanne.

Q:        What works well for candidates in remote Indigenous communities?

Leigh Hambly:

Okay. That’s a very good question. What we’re doing at the moment is we’re recruiting for a 50D position of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement officer, someone specifically for that particular cohort to work with people. But at the moment our consortium partner nationally is NACCHO. Andy if you wanted to sort of elaborate on what NACCHO are doing?

Andrew Dunbar:

So the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, NACCHO, have been engaged to work in a number of regional and remote communities which are MMM 6 and 7 on the Modified Monash Model which is the I guess regional classification system that we use within the Department. And they’re working in four states and territories currently which is Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. And as part of this group I suppose we come together regularly through a community of practice as well as we have a national governance committee for want of a better term and we’re constantly sharing information, working with one another. So if you have a question specifically related to that my advice would be to reach out to Leigh and Leanne and they can put you in touch with our NACCHO colleagues who would be more than happy to help as well if Leigh and Leanne can’t help you directly based on the information in that email. But I think definitely reach out. That would probably be a good starting point.

Leanne Drewitt:

Sorry can I just say Leigh are you able to go back to the slide with my email on so that people – I don’t know. Is that easy? Just while we’re answering questions.

Andrew Dunbar:

It’s probably a good idea. We’ll leave it up and that way it doesn’t get missed whilst we’re working through these questions. So I’ve got a few more.

Q:        Is there consideration regarding skills recognition for workers from overseas who are already in Australia?

Leigh Hambly:

Sorry. For some reason it went back to the beginning.

Leanne did you want to answer that question while I get the slide right?

Leanne Drewitt:

I can say yes. I’m not familiar with the process but I do understand there is a recognition of prior learning. Leigh unless you know more that is a question I’m happy to provide more details on out of this session with our connections in our TAFE consortium.

Andrew Dunbar:

Great. That sounds good. And I do know that the Human Services Skills Organisation sort of released that kit for recognition of prior learning and things like that. So we’ll definitely take that one on notice and get back to you. We’ll follow up with you both and put that as part of a response that we send out.

Q:        How do you determine which providers get which staff sent to them if they have the same requirements? Is it on a first served basis?

Leigh Hambly:

Okay. That’s a very good question.

It really depends on how quickly your HR process is and how quickly we can get that candidate employed. If we have sent candidates in the past and candidates are ringing us three weeks later to say ‘Thank you for sending me but they haven’t contacted me yet’ then we need to send candidates to providers who will pick them up quickly and employ them quickly. Otherwise we will lose those candidates.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh.

Q:        Can you talk some more about the training you offer for example manual handling, medications, etcetera?

Leigh Hambly:

Yes. So at the moment our fee free courses are all listed on North Metro and South Metro TAFE website. You’ll also find a broader list on the Jobs and Skills website and we can send you those links later. I haven’t got those links right in front of me. But there’s quite a comprehensive list there on fee free. And when it comes to Amana it’s very much a bespoke course made up of the manual handling and things like that. And again I don’t have a comprehensive list in front of me but we can certainly send you that information if you give us an email.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Leigh.

This is one for us.

Q:        What level is the Equip learning modules delivered by UTAS aimed at? Is it an accredited course?

The answer is they’re not accredited training. They are free and widely available. Each module only takes around ten minutes to complete. They’re accessible on a phone, tablet or a computer. It’s really more of a refresher or an introduction. It’s not an accredited course or to fill the space. But I think it really is a great spot for when we’re in a competitive labour market and you’re looking to get someone to have some skills and some understanding of what the role is but may not have the time or an ability at this point in time to put them through an entire accredited course, ie the Certificate III or something like that. It’s an introduction. Like I sort of alluded to it’s not just for people who work in the sector but it could be people who care for loved ones, these kind of things, anyone who is interested in the care sector more broadly.

Q:        Is there an application process for participating in the pilot peer support program? How do we become involved?

Leigh Hambly:

Send us an email. We’d love to have you.

Andrew Dunbar:

That sounds pretty good. I’m conscious that we’ve got about four minutes left. We don’t want to chew up everyone’s time. So if you have any questions please send them through and if we don’t get there this afternoon we will take them on notice.

Q:        What type of advertising is being done to attract potential candidates who have no access to the internet? How do they get into the system?

That’s a good question.

Leigh Hambly:

That is a very good question. And we’re doing some newspaper advertising. Recently Leanne ran a session in Fremantle and so that went out through press, through the Fremantle Herald. It’s very important to set the marketing and the advertising knowing that some people will not look at the internet. So absolutely. Especially our – well I shouldn’t stereotype saying our older generation. My 85 year old mum is well versed in her Apple phone. But it’s very, very important. So we’re going to have some advertising coming out very soon that’s on the back of buses and all over WA.

Leanne Drewitt:

And can I add one more to that. There are a lot of local community radio stations who also we’re promoting our sessions through and there’s an opportunity through as well.

Leigh Hambly:

And I think if you’re in a community I think reach out to Leigh and Leanne and see what can be done in your community potentially as far as that bespoke messaging I think is probably a good place to start. If you don’t reach out we will never know what can be hooked up in that space.

Q:        Will this information be accessible to us after the webinar?

That’s a good question. The answer is yes. So what happens is that we go away and we type up a transcript which becomes subtitles so that this is made accessible to people who are visually impaired as well. And then it will go on the Department’s YouTube channel and on the Department’s website somewhere. We’ll also have a brochure coming specifically related to this program which will provide a heap of information for providers and for potential personal care workers. And as part of that we’ll include a lot of this information. And like I said we’ll follow up with an email, tie off all the loose ends, distribute the slides etcetera just to make sure that we keep everyone engaged in this space.

And I’m conscious that we have just under two minutes left and that’s all the questions. So we might sort of slowly wind down Leigh and Leanne. Is there anything else you’d like to finish on this afternoon?

Leigh Hambly:

Just from me thanks again for all the hard work that you do as providers. And we’d really like to connect with you and include you in this program so please definitely email us.

Andrew Dunbar:

Absolutely. Thank you very much for your time this afternoon everybody. It’s much appreciated.

Leigh Hambly:

Thank you.


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