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Education and training in the Australian aged care workforce: a look at the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Report

The Department of Health recently released the Aged Care Workforce Strategy report, which details fourteen strategic actions that Australia’s aged care industry can use to improve the aged care workforce. It’s a great read for anyone working in or hoping to work in the aged care industry. As the report details, over 1.3 Australians access or use some form of aged care, and numbers of Australians aged 65 and over have increased significantly over the past 40 years.

One of the guiding principles that the report focussed on was education and training. Having an operational training organisation ourselves, we were glad to see that the importance of education and training is being recognised by the government as a significant part of aged care workforce.

In 2017 there were 3.8 million Australians aged 65 and over, making up 15% of the total population. For comparison, in 1977 there were just 1.3 million, making up just 9% of the population. As the aged population has increased, the aged care workforce has tried to meet demand for quality care.

The expectations of consumers, including individuals, families, carers and communities, continues to evolve, and the aged care workforce must grow and accommodate their needs. Attracting and retaining a well-trained workforce is an important part of meeting these expectations and ensuring a strong aged care workforce in Australia.

Regular training is vital for aged care workers, keeping their existing skills refreshed and providing an opportunity to work on skills that may need improvement. Education and training of the aged care workforce in Australia also allows members of the workforce to develop professionally, increasing opportunities for career progression and ensuring safe practices.

The report emphasised the importance of improving training of the aged care workforce. It reinforced the need to focus on practical skills in particular. At Auscare, we strongly agree that practical skills, as well as knowledge, are vital for aged care workers. Most of our training includes hands-on work that is closely assessed by our trainers, as well as written examinations.

We also offer our staff members the chance to upskill through complimentary training courses and keep careful track of training expiration dates. Staff members are encouraged to undertake as much training as they’d like, to ensure that demand is being met for staff with a range of skills. And we offer our students practical experience in the workplace, including medication training undertaken at leading healthcare facilities in Perth.

If you have questions about the importance of training within the aged care workforce or are seeking training courses yourself, please email us at training@auscaregroup.com.au or book a course on our website today!