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The future growth of community services

By Fi Darby | 11 November 2019


The face of employment in Australia has changed. More Australians are now employed in the health care and social assistance industry than in our more traditional industries. This means that Australia now has more community services workers than miners or farmers. There are a number of reasons for the surge in job growth in the community services sector:

All you need to know about the future growth of community services 

  1. The increasing age of Australia’s population.
  2. The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
  3. The increased demand for children’s services.
  4. The community services workforce needs to grow.

1. The increasing age of Australia’s population.

Over the last 20 years, the median age of Australians has risen. In June 1998, it was 35 and in June 2018 it was 37. This rise in population age is occurring because people are having fewer children and living longer.

As the population rises, more care services are required. With these, come more employment opportunities for people working in a number of key community services roles; these include:

2. The roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

care worker pushing person in wheelchair

The NDIS aims to provide support and services to around 460,000 people under the age of 65 who have life-altering disabilities. Every Australian who is eligible for NDIS help should be able to access it by 2020.

As more people are given access to support via the NDIS, demand for these services will increase. This will bring with it employment opportunities in a number of health and social care roles including:

3. The increased demand for children’s services.

Protecting Australia’s children is a national priority. The development of stronger family support, early intervention and child wellbeing programs has led to an increase in requirements for employees in a number of key job roles. These include:

4. The community services workforce needs to grow.

Employment growth for the ‘Health Care and Social Assistance’ sector is expected to increase by 14.9% in the five years to May 2023. This means that by 2023, there will be around 1,931,200 people working in this sector in Australia. If you are interested in a career in community services, that’s a staggering 250,000 new job openings in five years. Now is a great time to start training for your new career in this rewarding industry. If you want to find out more, SkillsTalk has some key facts on the fastest growing community services jobs.

5 in-demand job roles in community services

  1. Aged and Disabled Carers.
  2. Family support workers.
  3. Youth workers.
  4. Welfare support workers.
  5. Health and welfare service managers.

1. Aged and Disabled Carers.

Aged and disabled carers provide services and support for those who need personal care, companionship and support in their own homes. This is one of Australia’s largest occupations. It is predicted that job growth for this role will be very strong. Aged and disabled carers are employed across Australia with over 50% working in New South Wales or Victoria. Over a quarter of aged and disabled carers are in the 45-54 age bracket.

Almost half (43%) of people working in this profession are qualified to Certificate III or IV level. Upskilled’s CHC33015- Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) is a Nationally Recognised Qualification that can lead to a personal care role in a number of settings.

2. Family support workers.

family concept

Family support workers work with families to assess needs and provide necessary individual support via agencies and programs. Although relatively few people in Australia are employed as family support workers, this is a job role that is showing very strong growth. Family support workers are employed across Australia with the most positions available in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

Most people working in this job role are educated to Bachelor level (31%) or have relevant Diploma level training (29%). Upskilled’s CHC52015- Diploma of Community Services (Statutory & forensic child, youth & family welfare) is a Nationally Recognised Qualification. This specialised course delivers the skills required to identify and help children and young people who are in situations of risk. 

3. Youth workers.

Youth workers provide support to young people in need via agencies and programs. The number of people working in youth support in Australia is growing strongly. Youth workers are employed across Australia but more people work in this role in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. 35% of youth workers are aged between 25 and 34, giving this a role a younger workforce than some other community services jobs.

The most common qualification level (27%) for this role is Diploma or Advanced Diploma. However, almost a quarter of youth workers (23%) are educated to Certificate III or IV level. Upskilled’s CHC32015 - Certificate III in Community Services is a 12-month online course and includes specific guidance on working with young people.

4. Welfare support workers.

Welfare support workers work with clients to help them gain access to a wide variety of services. They provide information and support and coordinate a number of agencies to provide individual programs. 

Although the number of people in Australia working in this role has been falling, it is now expected to see a turnaround to strong growth. Welfare support workers are employed across Australia with over half (53%) working in New South Wales and Victoria. The average age of a welfare support worker is 43 years.

Whilst over half (53%) of welfare support workers hold a Bachelor or Postgraduate qualification, education levels for this role vary. Upskilled’s CHC52015 - Diploma of Community Services (Social Housing) is a specialisation with a specific focus on the details of services related to social housing systems, for example tenancy agreements.

5. Health and welfare service managers.

Health and welfare service managers provide direction, support and supervision to those working in community services settings. They may be responsible for a centre or health care facility. They may also oversee teams of community services practitioners. 

The number of people in this job role has remained stable for the last five years but is predicted to have very strong job growth. Health and welfare service managers are employed across Australia with almost 60% of the jobs being in New South Wales or Victoria. The average age of a health and welfare service manager is 48.

Around a third of people in this role are educated to Bachelor level or higher but almost a fifth hold an Advanced Diploma or Diploma as their highest qualification. Upskilled’s CHC62015 - Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management is a Nationally Recognised Qualification that has been specifically designed to suit those who wish to develop the skills to help them move into a community services management role. 

Make that community services career move today

Working in the community services sector can be very rewarding and offers great opportunities for job choice and career advancement. With Australia’s needs in this area set to grow, now is a great time to gain additional skills and make that career move. 

Upskilled provides Nationally Recognised Online Training courses that are flexible and can help you fit study around family and work commitments. Most Upskilled courses are only 12-months long and they are a great way to kick-start or boost your career. Look through their great range of online community services courses and get in touch today with an education consultant to find out how they can help you.
 
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