Australia’s personal care workforce is set to be boosted under a $91.8 million Federal Government initiative aimed at helping older people to live at home for longer.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt said that in another response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Home Care Workforce Support Program would help administrators attract, train and retain approximately 13,000 new personal care workers by mid-2023.
The Minister said the program would rapidly increase the number and skills of people providing aged care in the home.
“The grants will support the employment of 6000 new personal care workers in 2021-22 and 7000 more in the following year, including an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personal care workers,” Minister Hunt said.
“They will ensure new and existing personal care workers have the skills and support required to provide quality aged care services to all seniors who need them.”
He said it will also improve links with the training and recruitment, helping the broader aged care sector, including residential care, boost its work pool.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator Richard Colbeck said expanding and improving the workforce was crucial for quality in home care.
“The Government is committed to ensuring older Australians can remain in their homes and in the communities they know and love, for as long as possible,” Mr Colbeck said.
“Making sure we have enough carers with the right skills to provide these services is vital as we expand the number of care packages and wipe out waiting lists.
“Our reforms will ensure all senior Australians can access the care they want and need, when they need it.”
The Home Care Workforce Support program will be provided through an open grant process, with one grant for each state and territory (NSW and ACT combined) and an additional two grants directed to regional and remote areas.
The Minister said that the size of each grant under the program would mirror the region’s demand for home care packages, with a loading to reflect increased costs in regional and remote communities.
Details of the grants program can be found on the Australian Government GrantConnect website.