Supporting NSW and ACT home care providers to recruit and train personal care workers

This webinar recording is for NSW and ACT home care providers looking to attract, recruit and train personal care workers to the aged care sector. Settlement Services Australia to share information about their roles in the program, their success and lessons learnt.

Audience:
Health sector
Webinar date:
to
Webinar Link:

Recording and transcript

46:37

[Opening visual of slide with text saying 'Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care (with logo)', 'The Home Care Workforce Support Program Webinar', 'agedcareengagement.health.gov.au', with two speakers connecting via videoconference and visible on the right-hand side of the screen]

[The visuals during this webinar are of three speakers connecting via videoconference and visible on screen, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being shared on screen]

Craig Dunkeld:         

Good afternoon everyone and thank you all for attending today's webinar. My name's Craig Dunkeld from the Department of Health and Aged Care and I'll be co-hosting the event today with my colleague Andrew Dunbar and Iggy Pintado from Settlement Services International.

I'd like to being today with an acknowledgement of country. We acknowledge the Traditional Owners on whose land we meet today. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. I acknowledge that many of you are meeting from across different parts of Australia.

There will be an opportunity today to post questions throughout the session via the Slido question submission box on your screen at the bottom if you just click on the app button. And we'll prioritise questions behind the scenes and post the ones we're responding to on your screen. There is also a link in the chat if you can't find Slido.

Questions sent through in advance during the registration process have also been considered for the Q and A session. There is no option for attendees to turn on their video or microphone. However the session will be recorded and uploaded onto our website along with the slides.

I'll just pass over to Andrew to start off the presentation.

Andrew Dunbar:

Hi everyone. Okay. So I'll just start with the agenda. If we could just go to slide number 2 that would be great thanks.

First of all we're just providing an introduction of the program, its aims and how it can benefit your organisation. You'll then hear from our New South Wales and ACT grant recipient, Settlement Services International, on what they are doing to attract, train and retain new personal care workers to the home care sector. SSI will be represented by Iggy Pintado, as Craig just alluded to, who's head of the Home Care Workforce Support Program. They'll look at case studies from their particular work that they're undertaking, whether that be from providers or participants, about experiences within the program. And then there'll be a Q and A session at the end. We encourage all of you to ask questions you may have about the program.

Now the program itself.

The Home Care Workforce Support Program aims to grow the personal care workforce by up to 13,000 new workers by helping you guys as employers to attract, train and retain new and existing workers into the aged care sector.

We have six organisations or consortium that were chosen to deliver services under the program nationally. They are Council on the Ageing and their consortium partners in Queensland, Settlement Services International for the ACT and New South Wales, Age and Community Care Providers Association with their consortium partners in Victoria and Tasmania, North Metro TAFE and their consortium partners in Western Australia, Apprenticeship Careers Australia for South Australia and the Northern Territory, and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation providing services to rural and remote communities in Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

These organisations will provide support to home care providers with activities to attract and recruit new personal care workers to the sector, as well as helping with capacity building so your 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 candidates for the right skills and attributes, and getting candidates work ready through the provision of pre-employment training. They'll also support new personal care workers to complete high-quality training including facilitating access to subsidies to support training and supporting work-placement opportunities and providing outreach services to new starters.

We've also engaged HealthConsult to undertake an ongoing evaluation of activities under the program. And part of this includes surveys of personal care workers and home care providers. The first survey went out in April 2022. And a new one for this year roughly 12 months into the program has just gone live. We'd love to get your feedback and we'll circulate links as part of a follow-up to all the emails that are registered under this program.

And also just another reminder that when you close down the webinar you'll be prompted to complete a short survey as part of the webinar process by our department's webinar team. All feedback would be much appreciated. So if you get an opportunity please complete that.

I'll hand it over to Craig.

Craig Dunkeld:

Thanks Andy.

I'd now like to introduce Iggy from Settlement Services Australia. So Iggy Pintado is an experienced executive leader who has held senior management and executive positions across Australia and New Zealand and in Asia Pacific in commercial and not-for-profit organisations. He has direct experience in the aged care sector as the former CEO of Omnicare Alliance in the mid-north coast of New South Wales. He is the head of the Home Care Workforce Support Program New South Wales and ACT at Settlement Services International. So I would now welcome Iggy and hand it over to you. Thank you.

Iggy Pintado:

Thank you very much Craig. I hope you can all see my presentation. I first of all wanted to thank the Department of Health and Aged Care for their support of the program in New South Wales and the ACT, specifically Craig, Andrew, Rhianna and the rest of the team there. It's been fantastic being part of the program.

And I really wanted to tell you what we're doing in New South Wales and the ACT. As you can see from our opening slide there we've got a theme called making a difference with every door you open. And I guess this is our differentiator in the marketplace which is that we're not just attracting and recruiting people, we're also making sure that we retain them by not just making this a job but actually making it a career option.

SSI would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. And we pay respect to Elders past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection.

SSI as an organisation, for those of you who are not familiar with the organisation, is actually Settlement Services International. We were established in 2011. We are a community organisation and social business that supports newcomers, migrants and refugees and other Australians to achieve their full potential.

We currently employ about 800 people. We have 180 bilingual guides and we also have about 300 volunteers. And our vision for the organisation is to achieve a society that values diversity of its people and actively provides support to ensure meaningful social and economic participation specifically in vulnerable communities.

I wanted to start off with again as I mentioned making a difference with every door that you open with this very short one-minute video that kind of summarises our approach in terms of attracting and recruiting folks into the sector. So I'll play the video now.

(Video Playing)

 

So I'm sure you'll agree that it kind of tugs at the heart strings but it makes sure that people understand the importance of the work that is being done by the home care workforce in all parts of society I guess.

From a program delivery perspective as Craig and Andrew have already mentioned we are one of six providers contracted to deliver the Home Care Workforce Support Program on behalf of the Department of Health and Aged Care as part of our grant. We will deliver the program in New South Wales and ACT from 2022 to 2024.

The intended outcomes of the program on the right-hand side of this slide says that we are going to grow the home care workforce by 527 new personal care workers each quarter which is a total of 4,400 over the contract term. Now that comes with its challenges in a very tight labour market but we're confident that we can get up to those numbers as we are in this particular quarter.

The new personal care workers have the skills and support required to provide quality aged-care services. Our experience has been that the mix of people that work in the home care sector is a mixture of people who aren't necessarily qualified, as in certified, to work in the industry. So we have got a specific focus on making sure that we encourage and promote certification in Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Aged.

We're also tasked with improving the links between the relevant industry stakeholders to facilitate this attraction and training of new personal care workers to the home care sector. And that means working with registered training organisations and most of the folks on this call who are the home care providers as well. And we've started that process. We started about nine months ago through regional forums and other ways of engaging you and we will continue to do so in the months to come.

When I'm asked how we actually do this, this is kind of the slide that we share with everybody. Again like every other provider our job is to attract, register, train, recruit and support workers all the way up to making sure that we retain them.

So from the left-hand side of the slide we've been very active in terms of using all the attraction techniques that we can. Social media has been very successful for us, advertising, word of mouth, PR, our website, our apps, we've got youth programs, we have stakeholder meetings and other events that we're running to basically fill the pipeline if you like of people who are interested in working in this particular sector.

We then go through a registration process and building a database of participants where we screen them, we assess them and we onboard them. And we put them into different categories around those who are new to the workforce and who need qualifications, those who are already qualified and who are seeking work, those who are currently employed but actually need qualifications and those who are employed and need to upskill at the same time.

So we get them to a stage of readiness where we're ready to refer them to either be trained where we place them with an RTO or we recruit them or both, and make sure that they're available to home care providers in their particular area and region to commence work.

We also have - I guess the differentiator in our program is the retention piece. So we do provide regular check-ins with all the participants. We do that in the first day of their job, in the first week, in the first month, and then three, six, nine, 12 months after they start. So we're constantly checking in with their progress whether they're studying or whether they're employed.

We are also offering post-employment services, which is mentoring and peer support, as a way of actually retaining them in the sector to make sure they are supported across their role and across their work at the same time.

As folks we've got lots of experience in culture and diverse languages. We do training for home care providers, the senior staff and the boards. So please avail yourself to that training, especially in communities of diverse cultures.

Our geographical region as we've said is New South Wales and the ACT. We have conducted regional forums up and down the coast and also to the west. But we're kind of focusing on making sure that we at least have representation in each of the areas in New England, the North Coast, the Central West, the Central Coast, the Riverina, Illawarra and Shoal Haven and Southern and Eastern Tablelands which is what we've kind of been doing with the regional forums.

And for our colleagues in the ACT we are working very actively with community jobs providers in the ACT and we're about to make an announcement about an agency arrangement that we will have there with an organisation very shortly.

Who are we looking for? Who are our target audiences I guess? Well our strength is in the migrant and multicultural communities so we're going with that particular cohort first. We're engaging with multicultural communities across - starting off in the Sydney area but then also expanding. We are also focused on First Nations people. We're looking for career changes, people who are looking for their next career role and want to right size if you like in their careers. Mature employers. We do want to focus on school leavers, students and youth who are looking for another career option apart from the normal ones. We're also looking at return-to-work parents and also volunteers, specifically those that already look after Mrs Miller next door on a volunteer level but who now want to be certified and want to get paid for the fabulous work that they do.

What have we done so far since July 2022 to December 2022? Well we've got a website, ssi.org.au/homecare, where we are accepting leads and participants who are interested in the program or you can call the 1800 number for those who are not tech savvy.

We have also again really focused our campaigns around embarking on a meaningful career. Which is more about working on life-changing work, meaningful career, flexible work hours and steady jobs into the future.

We have also been very present in social media, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. We also had some articles printed in Aged Care News and Community Care Review around that theme of home care being not just a job but a profession. You've seen our videos or at least one video on YouTube which again has been very well accepted.

And I guess the proof point if you like for a meaningful career is that we have now established a home care career roadmap. Early in the piece I did a bit of research around whether a home care career roadmap actually existed and to be honest I couldn't find one. So we've actually created this one with the help of some of our stakeholder partners - and I'll talk a little bit more about this - where we try and build a little path that says well you start off as a personal career worker and you can stay in home care through administration, through care coordination, through home care but it's also a great stepping stone for a career in nursing, occupational therapy, allied health, etcetera, in terms of getting into the care sector.

Some of our upcoming programs. And we're very, very excited about some of these. And Andy mentioned about the case study. I guess the case study is that we're right in the middle of seeking input and feedback from all our stakeholders, specifically participants and also some of the home care providers. And I'll tell you a little bit about some of the programs that we've got going.

So one of the first pieces of feedback we got was what kind of marketing campaign do we need to work and where do we get our leads from? And I can tell you that around 80 to 90% of our leads all come from Facebook and Instagram through what's called Meta. And it's mostly people who are - women who are over the age of 35. So a lot of our campaign and a lot of our advertising is really focused on the social space. But we're also getting quite a few leads from the regional forums, from word of mouth and also just from different people who know direct communities such as multicultural communities and the job community areas.

We last week launched a home care traineeship. This was something that again feedback from participants and also from home providers who said there isn't really a traineeship as such in home care. And so we partnered with Apprenticeship Careers Australia and we just launched the first home care traineeship program in New South Wales.

This basically means that people who qualify for this program, whether you want full-time or part-time work, and you complete the first four modules of a Certificate III in Individual Support will actually be placed in the program, complimentary by the way, have their Certificate III in Individual Support paid for and be placed for 12 months into an eligible home care provider. So all of this is done for you. You just need to register for the program and we will do the rest through our partnership with Apprenticeship Careers Australia.

We see this as a vital part of the program because it not only opens up a career for those who choose to work here but it also provides them the training, it provides them the work and retains them because they've got to do this program for 12 months to be eligible for the traineeship.

We also listened to the home care providers who told us about how they're using casual labour. With the number of roles that are available out there and I guess not having enough people out there to do the work, which is why we have this program, we took some advice on casual labour hire and we are just about to announce a program with Hireup, for those of you who know Hireup, where we will be subsidising the casual labour that you would get from a Hireup. Hireup are renowned for having workers who are already working in the disability space and in the residential aged care space. So we're just extending their program to home care. And as I said if you want to be part of that program please contact us and we would love to tell you more about that as soon as we launch that into the market in the next week or so.

I already talked about multicultural community. Again speaking to specific home care providers who cater for those communities. So SydWest Multicultural Services, we have started working with them and focusing on three or four communities that they already have relationships with to help promote the program. Specifically we're going to focus on the Arabic community in the west of Sydney but we will expand that to other cultural groups as well in terms of their relationships.

I mentioned what we're doing in the ACT. We have conducted regional forums and we've had quite a few leads and participants already come from the ACT. But what we're about to announce very shortly again in the next couple of weeks is that we are going to partner with Migrant and Refugee Settlement Services or MARSS. They are based in the ACT. They already have a presence in the multicultural communities down there with migrants and refugees. So they will be acting on our behalf in the ACT, our feet on the ground if you like to make sure that we've got a presence if you like in the ACT area and that we are part of the communities and part of the attraction of participants in the ACT.

We are also going to open a home care experience centre very shortly. This is for people who want some of the soft skills around home care work, specifically how to deal with and how to talk to the elderly. Also looking at those who need some digital literacy work and also those that need first aid. So we will be opening that home care experience centre around about April timeframe. It will be in the suburb of Bankstown. But we're also designing it so that it is quite mobile so that we can take a lot of - some of the courses and some of the capabilities around New South Wales and the ACT.

I talked about retention. We talked to again a lot of our stakeholders around what do we need to retain workers. And some of the ideas that they came up with, I already mentioned digital literacy, helping them with resumes, career roadmaps, multicultural training, even transport support is something we're looking at. And we put it all into a program called wraparound services. So as soon as you come into the program as a participant we will offer you these different wraparound services to allow you to progress not only in your job but also with training and also with the retention of yourself as a participant in the program.

And there's an exciting initiative we are finalising with the NRMA, for those of you who know the NRMA, around their blue membership program, to basically give membership to participants to basically just lower the cost of their living for them. So discounts on petrol, insurance, movie tickets, events, accommodation, etcetera, as part of their program. So keep an eye out for that particular program because that'll be the kind of little incentive we give participants to be part of our program.

We do have regional forums planned again in all the major regional areas from March to June 2023. So look out for those. They'll be on the website.

And again just to keep us on the right track we do have an external strategic reference group, representatives from home care providers and other sectors who are kind of steering us in the right direction in terms of the programs that we've got going out there and trying to get that traction if you like within the sector.

So what does the Home Care Workforce Support Program offer you, the home care providers? Well why are we doing this? We're doing it to grow the number of workers. We're also doing it to upskill those who aren't qualified. And we're also looking to enable the aged care workforce to make sure that they have the skills and the training required to actually go and do their jobs.

What we do is we vet, we call it pre-screen them, before we refer them to you as home care providers. We are also going to provide as I mentioned the casual labour hire support through that backfilling subsidy program. And we're also doing our bit in terms of staff retention. We know that as home care providers you have enough to do on a daily basis. We can help you with retaining those folks not only in the sector but in your particular organisations.

What else do you get? You get an allocated business relationship lead. And I wanted to make sure that when you interact with us you don't just interact with an email address. I'd like to introduce you to Kamal and to Jose, Kamal on the left, Jose on the right. They're two individuals who are specifically going to be allocated to your accounts and to work with you to help you with growing, skilling and enabling your workforce and engaging you with our programs.

How to get started? You can confirm your eligibility as an approved home care provider first of all by contacting us. And if you want to be involved in participant referrals you need to sign a deed of collaboration with us to make sure that we're kind of working together on this.

I'm going to pause there for a minute. And this is the engagement part of the presentation. If you'd like to take your mobile phone or mobile device out and scan that QR code, that will take you straight to your email and be able to send us an email on home care at ssi.org.au to register yourself if you aren't already in our program. So I'll wait maybe five seconds for those of you to do that. And again you may as well act now because now is the time to engage with us in this program.

Okay. I will move on.

From a testimonial perspective we've been working already with some providers. And Catholic Healthcare have been a great partner of ours already. We spoke to Anna Wallace who's a senior recruitment partner and you can see her testimonial there. About halfway through is where I get excited, which is not just providing candidates to her from diverse life and work backgrounds but they're blown away by the quality of the candidates that are coming through as well. Because we do screen them for their motivation and their genuine interest in a role that involves helping others in the community. And as I said we're also screening them for the long term. So constantly reinforcing the fact that this is not just a job, it's a long-term play and a career.

I wanted to just finish up with two more things. One is again just expand on the home care career roadmap. As I mentioned one did not exist. So we're very proud of putting together a home care career roadmap in the aged space.

Again making sure that people understand that personal care work is the beginning of the journey and being very straight I guess about what's involved in that work. But then looking at other options around administration and scheduling, care coordination and home care management which is still in the sector and still supporting senior Australians but in more of an indirect capacity. And this will open the door to other career pathways, nursing, occupational health, allied health, being a counsellor, paramedic, a number of different things that you can do. And we already have one particular home care provider who is going to become our real case study, who started off as a personal care worker 20 years ago and is now the CEO of the organisation. So it's a little bit extended beyond this career roadmap but there is a career roadmap for a very fruitful and meaningful career if you like in this space.

I will pause again there for a minute. If you'd like to scan the QR code, that will take you straight to www.ssi.org.au/homecare where you can find out more about the programs that I've spoken about and more about the career roadmap. It is available for download on the site if you would like a copy, or again you can just contact us and we will send you one.

With that I wanted to say thank you again to the Department of Health and Aged Care for their support of SSI in our journey. We will continue to talk about a meaningful career in home care and about some of the key benefits of actually working in home care. We are aware that it is a minimum wage role but we're also aware that there are a lot of other benefits around flexibility, around life-changing work and around some of the other benefits that I mentioned as part of the programs that we're launching such as wraparound services, membership services through the NRMA and other things that we have in plan. So with that I will hand back to Craig and Andy.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you very much Iggy. I will start going through the Slido. So if you have questions please send them through and we can start ticking them off, whether they're for either Craig or Iggy to answer. So if we get Iggy back up on stage that would be great.

The first question I actually have is probably a double-barrel one. There's two of them there which are quite similar and probably really useful as far as this.

They are:

Q:          What examples do you have about good practice onboarding of new entrants into home care services?

And then:

Q:          How to compete in a tight labour market other than hourly rate?

So I guess what have you been learning to date as part of this program Iggy and is there anything that you think could be really valuable to our providers out there in this space?

Iggy Pintado:

Absolutely. Thank you very much for the question.

Look what we've found in our experience is first of all from an onboarding perspective I have to say speed is of the essence. We have had situations and we've learnt from situations where we have had people who are interested and we've kind of let them go for a couple of days before actually contacting them again. We have learnt very clearly that as soon as we get their interest we must contact them within four hours if we are to maintain that interest. So I put to you that speed to first of all get them into the program is important.

We also now have streamlined our program so that we get them from registered to converted to referral in the space of days right. There's some work we have to do in terms of screening but it's now one or two days before we actually refer them to a home care provider.

So I guess my advice for home care providers is that I guess there's no easy way of saying this but you need to do your bit. Because as soon as we refer them to you it's first in best dressed and you need to make sure that you conduct your interviews, your reference checks, your offers as quickly as possible. Because when we refer people to home care providers we refer them to two or three in the area so that they do have a choice about who they want to work with. So that's the onboarding side.

On the tight labour market side I did mention that it is very tight for us and as I said speed is important. But on the other side we are getting some feedback about the work and what's involved in the work. And putting together - not really talking about - I mean apart from the salary but also looking at the extended benefits.

In talking to participants, those successful ones, they're very interested in the flexibility, they work the hours that they want to work. Also very interested in the autonomy. Which is selling them on the fact that you don't have a boss looking over your shoulder while you are looking after Mrs Miller. It's really working with Mrs Miller and making sure that you work at your pace and you really understand the client. And also the fact that it is so fulfilling a role. When you do leave a role after three hours you know that you've actually helped somebody.

And as I said the other thing that we're doing is trying to make sure that we incorporate the quality training into the program. So if you're not trained we will provide you with that training in some way, shape or form, whether it's non-accredited or accredited training. And also trying to give - as I mentioned with the NRMA membership piece, looking at other ways that you could reduce the cost of living. So with the NRMA they will give discounts on petrol, on insurance, on car parts, events, movie tickets, etcetera. So the things that you would normally pay full price for will actually be discounted once you become a member of the program. And if you join our program in New South Wales that membership will be complimentary.

So again trying to find ways of encouraging people to join a sector that at the moment gives you flexibility and is more than just the base pay. And at the same time also promoting the fact that it'll be base pay while you start but then as you stay in the sector obviously your salary is potentially more than that.

Andrew Dunbar:

We have a question here about the labour hire that you alluded to.

Q:          Are they technically an employee of our companies or do they pay SSI?

Do you have any information on those particular arrangements that are worth sharing here?

Iggy Pintado:

Yeah. Look we're still finalising the contract. But the way it will work is that like any casual labour - like most casual labour hires, for those of you who have dealt with Hireup, they will remain an employee of Hireup as a casual labourer. But instead of paying as an example $70 an hour for casual labour, if they are a participant in our program and they're registered with our program and we've provided them with the screening we will subsidise that by up to 50%. So yes unfortunately they still stay an employee of Hireup but they are available, like any casual labour hire company, at a reduced rate if they are part of our program.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Iggy. This one probably goes to Craig and Iggy.

Q:          What's the minimum qualification a home care provider would like to see their workers have?

Iggy Pintado:

I'll let you go first Craig.

Craig Dunkeld:

Look I think our experience at a national level is that most home care providers are wanting to see the Cert III in the Individual Support but that does vary across providers and particularly in I guess their own requirements and the type of work being undertaken. So Iggy can probably give some more practical advice on what he's seeing in this space.

Iggy Pintado:

Sure. Look it's very interesting because again there are a lot of organisations that we've worked with who have been very specific about the minimum requirements. And the minimum requirements are quite simply right to work in Australia, a police check, working with children in New South Wales, working with the vulnerable in the ACT, fully vaccinated and a driver's licence, a car and comprehensive insurance. That's kind of where we've got to at the moment and that's what we're working with.

However having said that I also think that a lot are also asking for Cert III, an accreditation at least in the aged care space, a Cert III in Individual Support or a Cert IV in Aged as well. However having said all that, because of the desperation of the work required I've also seen some home care providers who have actually relaxed the Cert III requirement in particular and will work more towards practical experience. So as an example we have for example some migrants and some refugees who have got rights to work in Australia who in their previous countries were either nurses, or doctors even, with qualifications not recognised in Australia. We will put those people forward to home care providers and they usually get snapped up. So if they've got some level of experience in the care space I know of some home care providers who will take a punt on them and put them on board while they're getting their certification.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you Iggy.

Q:          Will the traineeship model be available in the ACT and where do we sign up to be an eligible workplace?

Iggy Pintado:

Right now we're still - we've launched it in New South Wales. We are going to look at the ACT as the next space. But right now I can tell you that it's just available for New South Wales, not for the ACT.

If you are a participant you can register for it now just through our website just by filling in a registration form. If you are a home care provider I strongly recommend you get in touch with us and we will pass your details on to Apprenticeship Careers Australia who basically look at the arrangements from the point of job placement.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Iggy. We've got a question about the processes here.

Q:          Who determines where potential employees work? And also are there any guarantees that aged care providers will have access to employees over major agencies?

Iggy Pintado:

First of all - I'll answer the first question first - we obviously look at a match. So we do a matching process. We do use postcodes and regional codes to make sure that we are matching people where they actually live.

The other thing that I mentioned is that as a home care provider we're encouraging people to sign a deed of collaboration with us so that we know that they're interested in the program and they know that once they get participants referred to them that they will adhere to making sure that they take them through a process as I said in as speedy a manner as much as possible. So we do have criteria or a matching process that looks at who we need to work through.

Now we are trying to be as fair as possible, not just the majors but the mediums and the minors. So I encourage all of the home care providers out there to please sign deeds of collaboration with us so that we can register you. And we will make sure that if we have candidates who are ready to be referred to you, we will do that.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you Iggy. Someone's just asked:

Q:          What the definition of a home care provider is?

So I just thought I will address that now. It's currently someone who provides home care packages but that is under consideration as to whether other care types might fit into that. So no decision has been made yet but I would encourage people to watch this space actively and see what happens there over the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for that other answer Iggy.

Q:          What additional support is coming for regional providers who are experiencing low referrals?

Iggy Pintado:

Again we're only working as quickly as we can from the point of leads perspectives. So I think the key one there is going to be the regional forums. So we ran regional forums last year and they were really for the home care providers and for the registered training organisations and for the community job folks. The regional forums we're running from March to June will be participant recruitment drives working with the job folks. So we will be looking at promoting the programs that we have in the regions so that we can pass them on to the home care providers as soon as they register their interest with us.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thank you Iggy. And then one last question. So if you've got anything don't leave it on the table, please make sure you send it through. If we can't answer it today we'll take it on notice. So yeah better to ask than not everybody out there in the ether. The last one that I've got so far is:

Q:          Is there any training available for existing workers to upskill and help retain staff?

Iggy Pintado:

At this point in time we're kind of looking at non-accredited training and accredited training. So with non-accredited training, again the Department of Health has recommended that there is an online course through the University of Tasmania called Equip. Again if you're interested in doing those courses they're currently complimentary. I'm more than happy to pass that information onto you. It's very much a primer in terms of getting started in the aged care space. So that's what we're using in encouraging people from a pre-boarding perspective.

From an accredited perspective we are looking at Smart and Skilled but there isn't necessarily anything in our program for people who are already employed in the sector. Again we can pass you onto registered training organisations who would be interested in training your people. But right now this is basically for new participants in the program to make sure they're equipped and ready to enter the workforce with accredited, quality training.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks Iggy. On that just regarding the Equip modules, there's a whole range of topics under there that might be relevant to your organisational staff, including 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.

As Iggy mentioned it's available free of charge to aged care workers, volunteers, care givers who are just supporting loved ones and anyone with an interest in improving care for older adults. The program launched in October 2022 and content will be rolled out progressively. All those modules will be available from May 2023 at the website www.equiplearning.utas.edu.au. And we will make sure that that email link goes out as part of the follow-up to everyone on this. So we would like to keep in touch. So we'll make sure that that's included in that.

We've got another question that's come through.

Q:          Some organisations operate in both disability and aged care and share their support workers across both. Are the staff in this program strictly limited to home care package provision?

Iggy Pintado:

Under the terms and conditions of the contract we are specifically focused on home care. So we would take participants in who are going to be employed or who are going to be trained in the home care space. Again where they end up is really up to the organisation. But we are very, very much focused on the home care workforce and making sure that we recruit and retain and train people for home care specifically.

Andrew Dunbar:

Thanks very much Iggy. And we've just got another question about the Equip chat. We'll send that out as a follow-up to everybody. I promise we'll circulate both slides. So if there's no further questions. I'll just give this 30 seconds or so just to make sure. Otherwise we'll give everyone a little bit of their afternoon back.

Thank you very much Iggy and Craig.

[Closing visual of three speakers connecting via videoconference and visible on screen]

[End of Transcript]

Presentation slides

Presenters

This webinar recoding will inform you about the benefits of the Home Care Workforce Support Program, how to access services and provide valuable insights into workforce development in a competitive labour market. 

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