The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council’s (the Council’s) remit is to provide a unified body to oversee, coordinate and sequence the implementation of the 14 Strategic Actions in Australia’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy ‘A Matter of Care’. The Council’s progress and achievements to date are outlined below.
Strategic Action 1
Social change and recruitment campaign (Council led)
The Council delivered its ‘Bring your thing’ campaign from 17 March to 30 August 2021. It promoted a career in aged care, particularly aimed at younger people and those whose employment was impacted by the pandemic. Using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and BuzzFeed, the campaign encouraged people to look for roles or consider the aged care vocational pathway. The campaign had a significant impact with 6.3 million impressions across social media. Over 1.7 million Australians saw our message, with 213,000 clicks to the campaign microsite. It resulted in ACWIC growing its social media follower base by 5000%.
Strategic Action 2
Voluntary Industry Code of Practice (Council led)
The Council launched the Voluntary Industry Code of Practice with Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck in February 2021. The Code is designed to support providers to set the bar higher each day, continually aspiring to provide better services to older Australians. Nearly 70 aged care providers, including some of Australia’s largest, have pledged to the Code, representing a large portion of total services delivered to aged care recipients in Australia. For a full list of supporters, visit our website.
The Council has established a Community of Practice with the sector to discuss reframing the Code into a best practice program. Further events will take place in 2022 to support the sector to drive quality improvement and potentially reshape the Code.
Strategic Action 3
Reframing the qualification and skills framework (AS-IRC and HSSO led)
The Council has actively participated in multiple consultations to shape the framework with the Aged Services Industry Reference Council (AS-IRC) and the Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO).
Strategic Actions 4, 8 and 13
Career pathways, revised workforce relations framework and current and future funding
The Council is designing the future structure of the aged care workforce with the sector, including job families and career pathways, while reflecting the delivery of quality care to meet community expectations (Strategic Action 4). This project intersects and informs Strategic Actions 8 & 13. As these actions are heavily interdependent, their implementation has been carefully sequenced to build on outcomes and outputs from one Action 4 to commence Actions 8 and 13. The Council appointed BDO Australia to undertake the Job Architecture project (Action 4). Work has commenced and stakeholders are invited to participate in this exciting project.
Strategic Actions 5 and 7
Driving a culture of feedback and continuous improvement, new attraction and retention strategies (Council led)
The Council worked with BPA Analytics to develop the ‘Workforce Narrative’ and 12 Insight resources and evidence review. The Narrative includes evidence-based actions that aged care employers can take to improve morale and retention rates in their organisations BPA have been conducting staff surveys for care based and community service agencies for over 20 years. The Narrative is based on over 109,000 survey responses from aged care workers, collected over a decade by BPA Analytics. It highlights 12 key insights into the aged care workforce. Launched on 27 October 2021, the Narrative has been viewed more than 1500 times. The Narrative and 12 Insights from Strategic Action 5 outline what attracts people to work in the aged care sector, as well as the reasons they leave, along with evidence-based strategies for employers to use to address the issues identified.
Strategic Action 6
Workforce planning (Council led)
The Council is engaging with industry to develop a standard approach to workforce planning through an interactive guide, including an interactive workforce planning tool. The tool will be human-centred and sensitive to challenges aged care providers face in the sector today. The Council has contracted Portable to develop an interactive workforce planning tool. The aged care sector is helping to shape the tool, including through participation in co-design workshops.
The tool will be launched in 2022.
Strategic Action 9
Strengthening the interface between aged, primary and tertiary care (Department of Health led)
The Council is working closely with the Department of Health to identify opportunities for collaboration.
Strategic Action 10
Improved training and recruitment for the Australian Government aged care workforce
(Department of Health led)
The Council will support the Department to implement this action.
Strategic Action 11
Establish a Remote Accord (Remote Accord led)
The Council and Remote Accord enjoy a close working relationship. They collaborate on development of joint position statements and provision of considered advice to the Department of Health.
Strategic Action 12
Centre for Growth and Translational Research (CGTR led)
The Council will work closely with the Centre for Growth and Translational Research (CGTR) to support both party’s work and provide direct access to aged care providers. A memorandum of understanding and statement of intent are under development to guide collaborative work and joint projects.
Strategic Action 14
Transitioning the workforce to new standards (Council led)
The Council was established in 2020, and now employs eleven staff. We continue to oversee, coordinate and sequence the implementation of the 14 Strategic Actions in the national aged care workforce strategy ‘A Matter of Care’. The Council’s established Board has been strengthened with the implementation of new supporting governance structures. Libby Lyons was appointed as the inaugural Chair on 1 July 2021.
Royal Commission Recommendation 76.2.e
Fair Work Commission (FWC) matter
The Council accepted the Royal Commission’s recommendation 76.2.e to lead the Australian Government and the aged care sector to a consensus to support applications to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to improve wages based on work value and/or equal remuneration. The Council appointed CoSolve, led by former Deputy President of the FWC Anna Booth, to facilitate discussions with key stakeholders (unions, providers and consumer groups). A consensus statement was submitted to the FWC on 17 December 2021 as a result of facilitated discussions, supported by key aged care sector stakeholders. Consistent with the neutral role of the Council, and the intent of the Royal Commission recommendation, the Council is not party to the agreed statement.