A new education-to-employment program featuring a bootcamp-style training program and 12-month paid aged care traineeship is aiming to support thousands of new workers each year and accelerate employment outcomes in the sector.

The initiative is a partnership between not-for-profit social impact investor For Purpose Investment Partners, training organisation Catalyst Education and Generation Australia, a non-profit provider of training and employment programs.  

The partnership’s new education-to-employment program has been designed in consultation with the aged care sector to provide participants with job-ready, technical and adaptive skills.

Catalyst Education will run the program in consultation with Generation Australia under its Powered by Generation model, which uses a data-driven, people-focused methodology.

For Purpose Investment Partners founder Andrew Thorburn said the partnership aimed to lift care standards in the aged care sector.

“It is clear from our discussions with a broad array of providers in the sector that there are clear talent and skills shortages. This will ensure that workers coming into the sector are getting high-quality education and training and that they are equipped to make a meaningful difference to the lives to aged care consumers,” Mr Thorburn told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Andrew Thorburn

The bootcamp training model will ensure participants have the skills they need to start working in aged care.

“This will support taking pressure off already stretched aged care providers, injecting skilled, confident and empathetic staff into the sector,” he said.

“By improving the skill level of new entrants to the workforce at scale, we can support improved quality of care for consumers. In turn this will also lead to a better working environment for the employees, and over time, provide a life-long career for staff in the sector,” he said.

Catalyst Education CEO Jo Asquith said the program has been designed to develop specific behaviours and adaptive skills identified and prioritised by aged care providers.  

“Both technical and adaptive skills are cemented through real-world experience. Bespoke, policies, processes, values, mission and other important elements are also embedded within the curriculum for individual partners,” Ms Asquith told AAA.

Jo Asquith

The partnership provides genuine business value to aged care providers, she said.

“Combined efficiencies in the workforce pipeline alleviate some of the financial burden for providers. Attracting, recruiting, training, coaching and mentoring a workforce that is retained within the sector long-term provides stability where there currently is little, as evidenced in the royal commission’s hearings,” she said.

“Getting ahead of the problem early minimises the risk of further skill shortages to deliver care to older Australians in the longer term.”

Generation Australia CEO Malcolm Kinns said the next step involved engaging with aged care providers to ensure the program was preparing participants for all aspects of working in aged care.

“We look forward to working with the sector to build this pipeline of quality talent to improve the quality of skilled workers in aged care around Australia,” Mr Kinns said in a statement.

The program is open to anyone not currently in full-time employment, education or training including those who are experiencing barriers to employment.

Participants need to participate in online learning and be proficient in English literacy and numeracy.

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