Care Sector – Health and Social Assistance

As stated by the National Skills Commission health care and social assistance is Australia’s largest employing industry and, given the COVID-19 pandemic, is a critical workforce. It covers health services like hospitals, general practitioners, dental and ambulance services, as well as services such as childcare and aged and disability care.

This industry has a large proportion of part-time workers, with 46% of the workforce employed part-time (compared with the Australian average of 31%). There is also a significant share of female workers in health care and social assistance (nearly four in five workers are female).

Post-school education is commonly required in this industry with more than 80% of workers having a post-school qualification. Qualifications are often mandatory for employment but training opportunities exist in both the VET sectors and higher education.

Demand is expected to continue for this industry given the COVID-19 pandemic and Australia’s ageing population.

TAFE Directors Australia maintains important relationships in the sector and continues to support a range of workforce initiatives including in health and social services. In August 2020 it established the National Enrolled Nursing Advisory Council (NENAC). The Council brings together experts in professional care education from across Australian TAFEs to represent and advocate for enrolled nursing education.