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Benetas industry breakfast: workforce challenges and opportunities

8th December 2021

On 23 November Benetas, held its eighth annual industry breakfast with the theme Towards Transformation, reflecting sector changes and in particular, workforce challenges.

The event included a panel discussion exploring the notion of transformation of the aged care workforce with panel members honing in on the important opportunities for providers, particularly as a result of COVID-19.

Panel members Louise O’Neill, CEO of the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council, Karin Hawkins, Lead Consultant, NeuroLeadership Institute, and Bradley Lynch, Benetas In-Home Service Assistant, all provided insights into the types of people attracted to aged care, the notion of purpose as a driver of vocational choice and the reassessment of career choice to give back to communities.

Workforce is considered one of the sector’s greatest challenges with some suggesting we are already in an aged care workforce crisis.

The arrival of a global pandemic has further increased workforce pressures due to border closures, single site rules, vaccination mandates and burnout from dealing with the heavy load of the last 18 months.

It has been projected that an additional 100,000 workers will be needed in the next 10 years and 400,000 by 2050 to meet the care needs of the increasing ageing population.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills OAM said the topic for the annual Industry Breakfast sat well with the current aged care climate.

“With the release of the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which included 148 recommendations, some of which related to workforce, and the Federal Government’s response of $17.7 billion for aged care services over five years, we are on the precipice of transformation of the sector,” she said.

“We will see funds going to an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages over two years, requiring a much larger workforce to deliver these, as well as minimum staff time in residential aged care, ongoing professional development of the aged care workforce and a national worker registration scheme to name a few recommendations made by the Royal Commission.

“The timing was pertinent to hear not only from workforce industry expert Louise O’Neill as well as neuroscience leadership expert Karin Hawkins, but particularly from Bradley.

“Bradley used to be in the tyre industry before electing to shift careers entirely so he could give back and do work that he felt really matters.

“Bradley represents a whole new group of people that we are trying to reach, ones who make the leap because they see great promise in community work and the benefit of making a difference each and every day.

Benetas holds its industry breakfast every year with a view to exploring important issues in the sector and release its annual report. A recording of Benetas’ Industry Breakfast and a copy of the annual report can be found here.