Care Sector Forum

The care sector, incorporating aged care, home care and disability care, is in the grips of a workforce shortage. How is the industry responding? Read on.

Industry panel with Mark McBriarty from MyCare Solution speaking.

Finding new ways to address critical workforce shortages.

The care sector, incorporating aged care, home care and disability care, is in the grips of a workforce shortage.

To help employers and stakeholders across Yankalilla, Victor Harbor, Goolwa and Strathalbyn address workforce challenges in the sector, Regional Development Australia Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island (RDA AHFKI) recently joined representatives from the Boosting Local Care Workforce Program, Local Jobs Program and Positive Ageing Taskforce to co-host a Workforce Forum.

This forum, held 11th May 2022 at the McLaren Vale Institute Hall, was targeted at employers and stakeholders in the care sector, with a focus on attracting and retaining staff. Workforce planning specialist with the Department of Innovation and Skills, Nick Dudley, spoke about workforce planning models and the importance of taking a holistic approach to solving industry workforce challenges.

A panel of local employers including Mark McBriarty from MyCare Solution and Peta Haldane from Estia (pictured), along with Richard Scollin from RDA AHFKI (representing Recreation and Active Day Supports), described their experiences addressing the current workforce challenges in their own business; what had worked for them and what they had learnt from working in the sector.

One of the highlights of the forum was hearing from a support worker who was a migrant with a corporate background. He shared his journey and the challenges he faced to gain his qualification in the care sector, find a placement, and successfully secure employment.

What the future holds

Providers welcomed the opportunity to consider different approaches taken by other industries to tackle workforce challenges, and how they might facilitate effective collaboration between the aged, home and disability sectors. This led to a lively group discussion.

One of the key agreed actions from this event was to establish a collaborative ‘Care Sector Network’ to help providers address workforce challenges and identify strategies to attract, recruit and retain staff in the care and support sector, with actions specific to regional needs.