The Limestone Coast – like other regions across Australia – is experiencing a surge in demand for experienced workers in the aged care sector. Career Partners Plus project officer Hilary Healy said there was a need to ensure the aged care workforce could be respondent to the needs of the burgeoning elderly community – both for those living in their own homes or for those who have relocated into independent living units or residential care facilities.
Ms Healy said there were a number of factors which posed challenges to local employers in sourcing new staff, but the recent pandemic had reduced the pool even further. “Issues such as availability of rentals or real estate means there is restricted movement of new residents and workers into the area and so this can have a large impact on the workforce,” she said.
“Our aim is to increase awareness of the professional careers available in this incredibly dynamic sector and encourage anyone who feels they have the right attributes, to consider taking the next step. These traineeships allow people to transition relatively quickly, which can make a big difference to those who are experienced in other areas of the workforce and may be preparing to enter into a more purposeful part of their working lives.”
Ms Healy said she was working with partner organisations Boandik, Longridge, Resthaven and Boneham in Millicent to recruit at least 25 trainees in both residential care and in-home
support services. “The participants will be studying Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) which will be delivered by Limestone Coast Training and once accepted on the program they will undertake a five-week part-time pre-skilling program before starting in their workplace on the traineeship,” she said.
Boandik chief executive Gillian McGinty said the opportunity to offer traineeships as a fast track into the industry was enormously helpful because there was increasing demand for services for older people and people living with a disability. “Utilising a program to provide trainees with the skills to be productive from early in the traineeship will be a great benefit in ensuring sufficient skilled staff to deliver these services,” she said.
Career Partners Plus is conducting a number of Café Conversations across the Limestone Coast and will be at Mount Gambier Central on Friday and Saturday. Contact 0447 194 350 for more information.