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Aged care survey provides valuable insight into workforce

  • 2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey provides valuable workforce insights
  • Aged care can be a very rewarding career pathway, both personally and professionally
  • The aged care workforce is ageing and urgently needs to be renewed

The peak body for the age services industry in Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), has welcomed findings from the 2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey.

LASA Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney said the report provides valuable insights into the aged care workforce and generally speaking most of the results and indicators are encouraging.

“Overall the snapshot of the sector is encouraging with improved working conditions providing a stable and committed workforce,” Mr Rooney said.

“While the report highlights there are some negative perceptions about careers in aged care, within the industry, there are many genuine career opportunities across the sector that can make a meaningful difference to the lives of older Australians.

“Within the industry, we know that aged care professionals derive a sense of satisfaction from the positive benefits they bring to those they are caring for, they find their careers satisfying and value the career opportunities the sector provides.

“We need to create more awareness that working in aged care can be a very rewarding career pathway, both personally and professionally.

“The proportion of age care professionals under the age of 35 is still a cause for concern, with the reported median age for residential aged care workers now 46 years and home care workers at 52 years.

“We already know that an estimated 60 per cent of the existing workforce will reach retirement age over the next 15 years. These workers not only need to be replaced, but our aged care workforce needs to rapidly increase to meet the growing demand for different types of services.

“By 2050, it is estimated that Australia will need up to 1.3 million aged care workers. The next generation of aged care professionals will need to be responsive, knowing that we have a new cohort of older Australians with broader expectations of how, where, and by whom, their care is delivered.

“Professionals will also need to be adaptive, with technology likely to significantly impact on the type of care and services that are delivered and the training and skills required of the workforce.

“The future of our aged care workforce has been the focus of a long-running Senate Inquiry that is due to hand down its report on 21 June 2017. LASA made a submission to the Inquiry early last year and gave evidence at the Future Aged Care Workforce Inquiry in Canberra at the start of November,” Mr Rooney said.

Contact:  Ashley Oliver 0458 011 009  ashleyo@lasavictoria.asn.au