Illawarra to deliver aged care workers of the future

A new network launched today in Adelaide by Minister for Higher Education and Skills and Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird will help ensure older Australians receive high quality care for decades to come.

Staff_photo.jpgThe Illawarra is one of ten regions nationally to take part in a new program which will help ensure older Australians receive high quality care for decades to come.

The Gillard Government is investing $9.1 million in the Aged Care Workforce Innovation Network (WIN), which will help aged care providers adapt to Australia’s ageing population and a rapidly changing aged-care industry. A further $800,000 will support research into improving career paths for aged care workers.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills Sharon Bird said the Aged Care WIN would deliver more than 190 business reviews and tailored business grants across the ten regions.

“We all know that we have an ageing population and this network is about acting now to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” Minister Bird said.

“The free Reform Ready Reviews will help businesses identify what they need to remain sustainable in a rapidly changing industry. This will be backed in by tailored grants of up to $15,000 to implement changes.”

The Aged Care WIN will run in ten regions across Australia, forming a national network. At a local level it will help ensure local aged-care providers, government and other organisations work well together.

“Aged care is not simply about medical care – it involves the whole community. These regions will build better relationships between all of the organisations involved in looking after older Australians, which will make aged care that much more effective.”

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council will work with peak bodies and industry to deliver the Aged Care WIN.

Three research projects will complement the Aged Care WIN by helping to identify better career paths for nurses; looking into the changing roles of carers and community care workers; and developing leadership skills in the aged care sector.

This new network will provide support to implement the changes identified by the Australian Government and the aged care sector in the reform package Living Longer, Living Better.

The Australian Government is contributing about $10 million to the program through the National Workforce Development Fund with industry estimated to contribute a further $2.6 million.

Through the $765 million National Workforce Development Fund the Australian Government is working in partnership with industry to support workforce development and training across business in all sectors of economy.