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New generation of aged care workers on the way thanks to TAFE

TAFE NSW is partnering with major aged care providers to train a new generation of workers amid a huge demand for skilled staff.

In mid-2021, a report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia found that a staggering 400,000 new workers would be needed by 2050 to meet the demand for aged care services.

For those contemplating a new career or lifestyle change, an aged care traineeship can offer a pathway into full-time employment in just 12 months with the completion of a nationally recognised Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) with TAFE NSW.

Paul Sadler, CEO of peak industry body ACSA (Aged & Community Services Australia) said many services are currently struggling to employ the workers they need to take on new clients.

“Australia’s aged care workforce is reaching a crisis point and this has been made substantially worse by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr Sadler said.

“Vocational education will play an essential role in addressing this acute workforce shortage, and TAFE NSW is at the forefront of providing the practical skills new workers need to care for older Australians.”

Major aged care providers such as BaptistCare are now offering traineeships in partnership with TAFE NSW across their state-wide operations in a bid to attract more staff.

“The message is simple: we need new workers and we are happy to train you,” says BaptistCare senior learning and development consultant Kerry Martin.

“Traineeships in residential aged care and home care are ideal because new workers can start immediately and undertake on-the-job training while completing their studies at TAFE NSW.

“Our trainees have the security of knowing they will graduate as qualified care workers with a guaranteed job.

“We encourage anyone with a caring nature to think seriously about a career in aged care.”

BaptistCare trainee Rachel Murphy from St Helens Park, pictured, works at South West Sydney Home Services.

The 43-year-old said the traineeship gave her the flexibility to upskill professionally around her family commitments.

“I’ve been working in aged for some time and I wanted to get a qualification. I have a family and a house, so being able to work and study at the same time was important for me,” Rachel said.

“Doing a traineeship, you’re able to put into practice what you’re learning at TAFE NSW.

“I need to be doing the practical task to learn it correctly, so on-the-job learning suits me and is far more beneficial than sitting in a classroom.”

TAFE NSW aged care teacher Tanya Ziermann said the sector offered the rare combination of job satisfaction and security.

“It’s a wonderful profession for compassionate people who want a new start or a career in which there is more flexibility to choose your hours,” Ms Ziermann said.

 “When you work in aged care you are making a real difference by helping someone retain dignity as they age. “It’s very rewarding to help care for someone in those years and it is definitely more than just a job.”

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