With the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hearing in Adelaide yesterday, the State Government remains focussed on training the local workforce to care for older South Australians.

The hearing was on the ‘Future of Aged Care Workforce’ and looked at workforce planning, and the education and training of the workforce, as well as other matters regarding personal care workers.

Under the Skilling South Australia program, nine training projects worth almost $1.4 million are underway in partnership with the aged care sector, training more than 300 participants across SA in the delivery of quality care.

The Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said each of the Skilling South Australia projects has been designed with the aged care industry to ensure high-quality training outcomes to support increasing workplace demands.

“More than 300 participants will gain the skills required to provide the highest quality of care for our older South Australians, with around 260 of these securing employment through a training contract,” Minister Pisoni said.

“South Australia has a population older than the national average, and the Training and Skills Commission forecasts strong growth across the social care sectors in both aged care and disability support roles – around 4,800 job openings over the five years to 2022/23.

“Offering on-the-job paid traineeships is an effective way that aged care organisations can equip employees with knowledge, confidence and best practice compliance.

“These projects are not only attracting fresh, passionate people to the industry, but also encouraging existing workers to keep their skills current and advance their careers.”

Skilling South Australia projects in our state’s aged care sector include:

  • A pilot project with Life Care enabling 54 existing employees to upskill through a Certificate IV in Ageing Support designed to bolster the knowledge and confidence of team leaders.
  • Help for the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Education Centre to support 20 new entrants into aged care paid traineeships, undertaking a Certificate III in Individual Support.
  • The development of an apprenticeship-ready course through the Open Colleges School of Health. 70 course graduates will be supported into paid traineeships with an aged care provider.
  • A pilot program with Resthaven to offer the Certificate III in Individual Support to 30 Home Support Workers.

“The Resthaven Aged Care Traineeship Project will trial a new training model to help attract and retain workers in the health and community services sector,” Minister Pisoni said.

“The State Government has allocated more than $120,000 towards the project, including support and supervision for participants during client visits.”

Resthaven Workforce Development Manager Tom Cleghorn said Home Support Workers play an important role in assisting people to stay living at home and leading an independent lifestyle. The project will help more employees gain the appropriate skills and qualifications.

“Resthaven is committed to ensuring our workforce is well trained. We encourage our direct care staff to take advantage of this opportunity to gain a Certificate III in Individual Support,” Mr Cleghorn said.

“Home care and support is very important to older South Australians, to continue living in their own homes in the community for as long as possible.

“There is a huge opportunity for committed individuals to join the aged care workforce, and this training is welcomed.”

Overall, there are more than 100 Skilling South Australia projects, worth over $20 million, now underway.

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