Response to the 2020-21 Budget

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The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council strongly agrees with the Treasurer’s statement that aged care is one of the greatest challenges Australia faces in delivering increasingly complex care and support services to older Australians.

The effects of the pandemic as highlighted in the Royal Commission’s Special Report on Aged Care and Covid-19 have amplified the need for faster reform. The work of the Council in implementing the national aged care workforce strategy outlined in A Matter of Care is now more relevant than ever.

Workforce reform must happen at a greater scale and with clear pathways for skills, training, and careers in and across residential, home care and other care services. The Government’s budget commitment of $9.435 million to enable the Council to continue to deliver the strategy over the next three years makes clear the Government’s determination to deliver real results.

The Council acknowledges that there will be a more comprehensive Government response to aged care in the May 2021 budget when it responds to the final recommendations of the Royal Commission.

The Council’s work program brings together Government and Industry to achieve workforce reform centred on consumers’ needs both now and into the future. This funding will enable early development, commencement and/or progression of a number of strategic actions, including:

  • a workforce planning process to guide and improve workforce practice across the industry
  • a digital learning platform that allows all types of aged care providers, regardless of size or capacity, to access quality aged care training
  • a social change campaign aimed at increasing attraction and recruitment to the sector,
  • defining career pathways to support an agile workforce by rethinking and opening jobs pathways and career options to permit longer term worker engagement in the sector and an accreditation framework which will allow employers to view each existing and potential employee’s skills and qualifications online.

The need for Government and Industry to listen and respond to older Australians needs is the key to successful aged care reform. The 2020-21 budget allocation to the Council provides Government support to do this. We look forward to Industry meeting its in-kind financial commitment to the strategy during the remainder of this financial year.

The Council underscores its commitment to support the sector to be prepared, both in residential aged care and home care settings, by future proofing the workforce.

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