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Demand for an aged care workforce: here's why the sector needs more skilled workers

By Fi Darby

As our population continues to age, care of the elderly is set to remain one of Australia's most in-demand job roles. According to a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the proportion of Australians aged 65 and above rose by 1.2% in 2020. This means that more Australians require individual care than ever before.  This trend is not set to end any time soon. 

Below are three key reasons Australia needs to increase its aged care workforce.

Why does Australia need more skilled workers in aged care?

1. The demand for aged care services is rising.    

According to a report by the Productivity Commission, by the time we reach the year 2050 over 3.5 million Australians will be requiring professional aged and disability care. This is more than three times the number reported in 2011. 

2. Elderly care is gaining political momentum.

elderly woman sitting on wheelchair

As more and more families require professional help for their ageing loved ones, aged care is standing out as a key issue on the political agenda. This in turn will lead to increased investment both in public and private sectors. Great news if you're considering a career move into a more caring role.

3. Australians want more choice.

According to ABS statistics, the age-related wealth gap in Australia is increasing. In other words, although income still varies extensively, many older Australians are better off than their younger counterparts. This affluence has led to an increase in demand for consumer choice, including more independent living arrangements. A highly trained workforce is going to be required to support this level of demand.

What are the benefits of working in aged care?

Aged care is just one of the five pathways to a career in community services. Aged care workers assist elderly people with daily life activities. Their daily tasks might include preparing meals, supporting health by administering medications, helping with mobility and providing social support. They may do this in a residential care facility or in a client's own home.

As well as being one of Australia's top high demand job roles, this caring career is also really rewarding. 

We take a look at the key benefits of working in an aged care setting below.

1. It's a really rewarding career.

There can't be many things more rewarding than caring in a dedicated way for other people in their time of need. However, spending time with the elderly isn't just about looking after them. Your clients will be from a wide variety of backgrounds. As you start to build meaningful relationships with them, you'll find yourself learning from them and expanding your own knowledge.

2. It will increase your self-confidence.

male aged care worker talking to elderly man at home

When you work on a daily basis with other people, your confidence and communication abilities increase. In order to provide the high quality care your clients deserve, you'll learn how to understand their individual needs. You'll also learn how to communicate with other members of your team, outside agencies, and relatives.

3. You will be able to make a difference.

Whether you work with clients at home or in a care setting, your new job role is going to make a huge difference to the people you work with. Ageing isn't always an easy process. Knowing that you've brightened someone's day and made life easier can be a really satisfying experience. Working in aged care is more than just a job; it's a vocation. Even better than that, whatever your skill level or personality type, this vocation can offer you a wide range of employment opportunities.

4. You can gain qualifications as well as experience.

Once you've started working as an aged care worker, you'll find plenty of opportunities for improvement and progression. Whether you want to try a new role or progress to supervisory or management level, there is aged care and disability training out there to suit you.

One great way to improve your knowledge is to enrol on an online program of study. As a student, you'll have the flexibility to fit your study around your work shifts and home commitments.

Studying an aged care course online

Whether you're thinking about changing career or have already started in an aged care role and want to boost your employment prospects, we have the course you need. Training with Upskilled can really help you prepare for a job role.

If you're keen on employment as a care worker, our CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) is the perfect entry-level qualification. This care support course has been designed to suit you whatever your first role in this rewarding industry. Not only can this training support you in your new job, it can also prepare you for further study.

With a course duration of 18 months, this certificate-level course can support your career goals in the aged care sector. Working with specialist tutors and fellow students, you'll learn how to: 
  • Recognise and nurture good health
  • Assist and empower older people
  • Understand and support people living with dementia. 
This online individual support course can also help build your personal skills in problem-solving, autonomous working and cultural sensitivity.

Kickstart your career in aged care today

Australia needs dedicated aged care professionals more today than it ever has. If you want to make a real difference and see tangible career progress, now is the time to start training. Once you've enrolled on an aged care course with Upskilled, you'll have the opportunity access to online learning facilities, caring student support and specialist trainers. What's more, there's flexibility to fit all your study in around your other commitments. Talk to our team today to find out more.
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