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Providers encouraged to recruit more outsiders


The aged care sector needs to attract people from other industries to help meet the demand for workers, a provider will tell an upcoming industry conference on workforce.

NSW and ACT aged care provider Uniting recruitment lead Garth Quinn said aged care workforce recruitment was an industry-wide problem that the sector needed to approach it differently.

“If we keep pinching from each other, that’s not going to solve the problem,” Mr Quinn told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Data from employment platform Seek shows 65 per cent of people who applied for aged care roles in the last 12 months also applied for jobs in other industries, said Mr Quinn ahead of his presentation at next week’s Strengthening the Aged Care Workforce conference.

Garth Quinn

The issue isn’t the 35 per cent of people only applying for aged care work because they are already interested in working in the industry, he said.

“It’s the 65 per cent. We need to get more of those people interested in being employed in aged care, so we’ve got enough people to take on what we need,” Mr Quinn said.

“I’m not in competition with other aged care providers for talent… I’m in competition with the banks, the retailers, the hospitality venues and those types of people,” he said.

If an aged care provider converts someone from a different industry, it’s a win for the entire sector because that is an extra worker in aged care, he said.

Uniting has developed full-time roles for positions such as cleaners to offer incentives that other industries don’t to improve its recruitment and retention of workers.

“I’ve put up a full-time cleaner’s job… and every cleaner in Sydney has applied for it because cleaners have become a night time job… and [there is] casualisation of work in that space as well,” Mr Quinn said.

“What do you offer a retail worker that they don’t get in retail? Permanent hours, good salary, Monday-to-Friday shifts and all those types of things,” he said.

It is also important to keep application process simple so it is not a barrier, he said.

“We’re obviously a very compliance-driven industry, whereas retail and hospitality aren’t, so providers need to help people understand ‘why do I need to do all these checks?’ And ‘why do I need to provide all this information?’

“It’s not normal for candidates who aren’t in this type of industry.”

Providers can also look at how to create pathways for inexperienced people interested in working in aged care, Mr Quinn said.

“Unfortunately, there aren’t all these skilled and trained people out there, we need to build our own.”

The Strengthening the Aged Care Workforce conference takes place on 4 – 5 December at Victoria University City Convention Centre in Melbourne.

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2 Responses to Providers encouraged to recruit more outsiders

  1. pat johnson November 29, 2019 at 12:14 pm #

    I think Mr. Quinn is correct in the suggestion of employing people from other industries. I have seen ENs in aged care who also have to make meals for the clients. Would it not be more practical to employ someone to do just that job?

  2. Robert Farrow November 29, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

    I agree with the concept but I think to ask a Bank clerk or Hospitality worker who has been retrenched to change old men’s dirty nappies will not go down well.

    The fact is the PCA needs to be trained yes but they also need to have a mind set of compassion.

    I have been working in aged care for over 10 years and with Filipino’s for over 6 years and I can assure you they would welcome any job in Aged care.

    Most have 4 year University degree in nursing!

    We are training them and bringing them to Australia but we could a lot more with less red tape and funding.

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