Australia is facing a profound labor shortage, but it's not in an industry most people would guess. With an ageing population, there is also an increasing demand for aged care professionals and with that, more and more opportunities for jobs in aged care. As people get older, they have a harder time moving, keeping up with the jobs around their homes, and taking care of themselves. With the government supporting the ageing community to stay in their own homes for longer, families are doing their best to care for their ageing relatives, but not every senior has a loving family with the time and resources to handle their care. Unfortunately, both in-home care agencies and assisted living/retirement communities are facing a devastating shortage of aged care workers and this problem is keenly felt in Adelaide and across the continent.
The Need for Skilled Staff
When it comes to the elderly, their needs vary wildly from needing help around the house to administering medications. Many seniors will need to be physically lifted to and from beds and chairs and their care providers need to be prepared for medical emergencies at any time. Because of this, families of the elderly can't simply hire a teenage babysitter from down the street to look out for Nanna. They need someone with relevant training, the ability to safely perform complex care procedures, and the mental health expertise to handle patients with conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Skilled vs Casual Staff
Because there aren't enough skilled staff to tend the growing elderly population of Adelaide and Australia as a whole, aged care agencies have been forced into the practice of taking on 'casual' staff members. These are workers who have the training considered necessary for the job but can fill in on simple or low-intensity services offered by agencies like companionship and light housework. Unfortunately, because there still aren't enough opportunities for full-time staff to care for all the higher-intensity cases, casual staff are again called on when their skilled counterparts aren't available. This isn't anyone's idea of an optimal solution, and in response to the crunch, the government has decided to step in.
The WorkReady Program
Aged care isn't the only industry in which South Australia is facing a skilled worker shortage, and in response, the WorkReady program was launched. As can easily be guessed by the name, this endeavor was put together to enable Australians to improve their work prospects by gaining valuable trade skills. The program has a large number of subsidsed courses, allowing motivated Australians looking to gain valuable work skills can either learn what is required for a new career or take supplementary courses to advance from their current position. Eligibility is determined by each course and the student themselves.
There are several aged care courses available under the WorkReady subsidy at Enable College. You will have to complete an eligibility test to have your course work subsidised. There are two main qualities you will need to meet to become a subsidised student. The first is citizenship or right to work in South Australia. If you are a citizen of Australia or New Zealand, a permanent Australian resident, or hold a qualifying visa then you have already passed the first requirement. Next, you need to be 16 or older and not enrolled in high school, 16 or older and enrolled in training through the TGSS, or training through a training contract as an apprentice in qualified courses. With this, you can qualify for unlimited priority courses, one foundation skills course, and up to five bridging units.
What all this means is that even if you're not currently qualified for a job in aged care, you could be soon and at a very low cost. With Enable College, you can learn all the skills you need to provide high quality aged care at subsidised rates. Given how thirsty the industry is for new skilled workers, a simple investment of time and a small amount of money can create truly reliable job security due to the ever increasing need for support jobs in Adelaide.