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Thursday, December 7, 2023

New powerhouse partnership to accelerate skills development in aged care sector

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With studies suggesting there will be a need for around a million extra aged-care workers by 2050, For Purpose Investment Partners (For Purpose), Catalyst Education (Catalyst) and Generation Australia have responded with a partnership to accelerate employment outcomes in the aged care sector.

The plan will support thousands of aged care workers across the country.

The partnership will see the launch of an education-to-employment program run by the recently-acquired Catalyst in consultation with Generation Australia.

Through extensive consultation with the aged care sector the program is designed to prepare and support participants through a training ‘bootcamp’, followed by a paid 12 month traineeship with an aged care provider, ensuring tangible employment outcomes.

The program will be the first run under the “Powered by Generation” model in Australia, which brings Generation’s data-driven, people-focused methodology to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), with the scale to make meaningful change within the sector.

Since launching in Australia in 2019, Generation Australia has supported hundreds of unemployed Australians through its programs for in-demand jobs in the care and IT sectors.

For Purpose Founder, and former NAB CEO, Andrew Thorburn, says the partnership aims to support faster action on the recommendations of the aged care royal commission, and the challenges the sector has faced during the pandemic.

“There’s a real and present need to develop a national pipeline of talent entering the aged care sector” Thorburn says.

He says the industry has a responsibility to ensure that workers coming into the industry are getting high quality education and training and that they’re equipped to make a meaningful difference to the lives of aged care residents.

“We believe this partnership goes a long way to doing exactly that.

“It will have an immediate, positive impact on supporting skilled, motivated talent into the aged care sector, which is a core part of the recommendations to come out of the royal commission,” Thorburn says.

According to Catalyst CEO Jo Asquith, part of the challenge of delivering quality outcomes at scale is creating a financially sustainable model that allows for the growth of the program to meet the demand.

“Catalyst has trained more than 45,000 learners in aged care, early childhood education and disability, and we’ve worked hard to ensure that our graduates are prepared for their chosen field of expertise,” Asquith says.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Generation to combine their insights and expertise with our capacity to meet quality training needs, to ensure even stronger pathways between the training program and actual employment outcomes.”

Generation Australia CEO, Malcolm Kinns, suggests that the joint effort between Generation, For Purpose and Catalyst will set an example not only for the aged care sector, but for other industries too.

“There are plenty of Australians who are slipping through the cracks in our better-than-expected employment figures,” he says.

“A large number of people still face significant barriers to employment, while many industries are facing challenging skills shortages – particularly in entry-level roles.

“The size of the skills shortage in aged care means quality education-to-employment pathways must be delivered at scale.

“This partnership will ensure thousands of Australians will be skilled and supported into in-demand jobs in a growing industry.”

Kinns says the exciting next step is direct engagement with employers to ensure that the program is preparing participants for all aspects of working in aged care, both critical competencies as well as behaviours and mindsets.

“We look forward to working with the sector to build this pipeline of quality talent to improve the quality of skilled workers in aged care around Australia.”

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