TAFEs Supporting a Quality Aged Care Workforce

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Report) was tabled in Parliament on 1 March 2021. In their report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, the Royal Commissioners called for fundamental reforms in the aged care system. The wide-ranging recommendations included action on workforce conditions and capability, and acknowledged that the care workforce is central to the quality of aged care in Australia. TAFEs, as quality public providers, will be an integral part of the reforms.

In the Government’s response to the Report and in the 2021-21 Budget, the Australian Government confirmed it will invest $338.5 million over three years to grow, train and upskill the aged care workforce to drive improvements in the safety and quality of care experienced by senior Australians. By 2050, the aged care workforce is expected to grow to more than one million people. Within two years the workforce will need to increase by around 3,600 registered nurses and 34,200 personal care workers.

The increased funding for aged care workers has a flow on effect for TAFEs. This includes:

  • up to 6,000 new personal care workers in workplaces for 2021 and 7,000 for 2022, funded through the Australian Government Department of Health;
  • 33,800 additional training places rolled out over two years for personal care workers to attain a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), funded through the expanded JobTrainer measure;
  • additional training places in 2023 for personal care workers to attain a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing).

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Total VET Students and Courses data for 2019 shows that across all VET providers, the Certificate III Individual Support was the qualification with the highest number of program enrolments with a total of 76,930 enrolments. This includes 13,510 at TAFE institutes with the Certificate III Individual Support the sixth most popular qualification.

It is not surprising that many Australians whose livelihoods were impacted by COVID-19, are looking for opportunities to re-train in a sector which offers a secure and fulfilling career, and where skilled workers are in high demand. Those starting out in their career also see aged care as a career of choice with opportunities for advancement for those who seek it. People with a passion for caring and a sense of wanting to give back find their work in the aged care sector to be highly rewarding.

TAFEs supporting a quality aged care workforce

Care, compassion and empathy: pursuing a career in aged care

Research and strategy

On 1 March 2021, the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (the Report) was tabled in Parliament. Please click here to access all volumes of the Report.

The Australian Government response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety can be accessed  here.