Highlights

Upskilling aged care sector for a big future beyond COVID-19

New York -The Federal Government’s recovery package to upskill workers critical to Australia’s recovery post COVID-19 couldn’t come at a better time for the aged care sector.

The package is supporting a new six-month online Certificate in Aged Care through UniSA Online at about half the cost of regular study options and will offer opportunities for those who have lost employment to move into a sector set for consistent high growth in the next decade.

According to the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment the demand for skilled aged and disability carers is set to increase by almost 70,000 and nursing and personal care worker roles by about 11,500, or 30 per cent to 2023.

The new program is good news for ACH Group CEO, Frank Weits, a key employer in the aged care sector across South Australia.

“The aged care sector is not only growing but its changing and to be able to deliver services that provide older people with the best life experience and care, we need staff that are knowledgeable, skilled and dedicated,” Weits says.

“Education is a key to ensuring we can recruit staff that know and understand best practice and have a real commitment to providing quality care and support, so the availability of affordable professional education pathways is vital in bringing new people into the industry and keeping them in the sector.

“With the impact of COVID-19, there are many people facing unemployment and having to consider career choices for the future. Ours is a growth industry with big opportunities for people who are passionate about making a difference to the lives of older people.

“This qualification provides the potential for career progression and with a shortage of skilled candidates to fill all the roles needed across the sector, new education offerings such as the UniSA Online Certificate in Aged Care provide a unique opportunity to get a foothold in a growing sector where there will be ongoing demand for qualified professionals.”

UniSA Executive Dean, Clinical and Health Sciences, Professor Esther May says the collaboration forged with industry partners, such as ACH Group, has supported the rapid development of the new program.

“Working hand in glove with industry, we are able to include what is important for entry level employment in aged care and provides a pathway for candidates interested in extending themselves into other education options," she says. 

"The industry collaboration has been crucial to providing a relevant, high quality and meaningful education offering.”

The new six-month online program, which has been developed in consultation with the aged care sector, is available at the heavily discounted price of $1,250 for students to commence in May.

It is open to people who have completed Year 12 or equivalent, who pass UniSA’s entry level numeracy and literacy test and who have sufficient work experience.

The course is aimed at people who have been displaced in the workforce due to COVID-19 and want to re-train for entry into the aged care industry and graduates who complete the fast-tracked certificate will also have the opportunity to continue their studies to complete a Diploma in Aged Care and to articulate into bachelor’s degrees in health, nursing or social sciences.

It will also suit people who have worked in the sector but want secure and ongoing career in aged care.