Trainee aged care workers in New South Wales now have access to an Australia-first partnership, designed to immediately accelerate skills development and employment outcomes in the sector.
The Aged Care Employment Program, developed by Selmar Institute of Education (Selmar) in collaboration with Generation Australia, will provide five weeks of ‘work readiness training’ followed by a paid 12-month traineeship for eligible graduates within Uniting NSW.ACT residential aged care facilities.
Participants will be divided into one of two streams, depending on their career goals within the industry:
- The ‘ageing stream’ will prepare learners to provide high-quality and tailored care services to clients living in residential aged care homes
- The ‘home and community’ stream will prepare learners to provide high-quality and tailored care services in the home environment, supporting clients to stay independently in their own homes
Participants will work towards completion of a Certificate III in Individual Support, satisfying the minimum employment requirement for aged care roles across the country.
Jo Asquith, chief executive officer at Selmar, tells Aged Care News that the program aims to address two critical areas for the sector:
- securing a pipeline of talent and;
- equipping newcomers to the industry with the adaptive skills required to provide better quality of care outcomes for older Australians – such as compassion and empathy.
“You can’t learn these skills on the job; trainees really need to deliver them from day one to ensure they are providing the best quality of care from the outset,” Asquith says.
The traineeship component of the training will ensure that incoming workers have a true insight into the industry, ensuring they enter the graduate workforce sure it is the right job for them.
“One of the main issues with retention comes from people not knowing what they are getting into when they start a job.
“With this training, candidates go into it fully aware of what is required to succeed in the industry.”
She adds that partnering with a leading provider like Uniting NSW.ACT offers tangible and immediate benefits for the whole sector.
“This provides a genuine education-to-employment pathway that will immediately address pipeline challenges and provide significant employment opportunities for participants,” Asquith states.
The program is open to all persons aged over 18 years of age, with Asquith telling Aged Care News that a ‘diverse pool of candidates’ will enrich the industry going forward.
She adds that Uniting NSW.ACT intends to provide either full or part-time roles to graduates from the program, “depending on their preferences”.
The New South Wales iteration will serve as a pilot, with hopes the program will be expanding in the coming years to augment the aged care workforce nationally.
Applications for the first intake of students can be made at the Selmar website, and close Thursday, November 18.
A second intake will commence in early 2022.
Selmar Institute of Education is a registered training organisation by Catalyst Education, a leading provider of vocational education in Australia specialising in care industry training.