The NSW Government has allocated $2.5 million in the 2020-21 state budget to develop a business case for a residential aged care training facility.
The business case will investigate the development of a residential aged care training facility on a TAFE campus to provide the skills training needed to meet the demand for an additional 1 million aged care workers by 2050.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who announced the funding on Sunday, said the TAFE NSW Residential Aged Care Centre of Excellence could be located in either a metropolitan or regional area, depending on the opportunities across the state.
“[This] announcement is about investigating the options around developing a new specialty aged care facility to deliver quality training to people who want to pursue this rewarding career. The funding committed to this business case will develop the best options on how to deliver such a training centre,” Mr Perrottet said.
The business case allows TAFE NSW to fast-track the initiative to commence the next steps, including selecting industry partners and a site.
NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said TAFE NSW centres of excellence transformed the established approach to education by breaking down divides between VET, higher education and industry to create seamless education pathways and meet the skills needed.
“The business case will investigate the development of a Centre of Excellence that will provide training in a range of aged care services, from clinical care to food preparation and wellbeing activities as well as build skills in areas highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including infection control, improved management and leadership skills,” he said.
“An ageing population brings work opportunities in the residential aged care sector with TAFE and private providers offering the intensive training needed to set people up for a rewarding career,” Mr Lee said.
The NSW Government is also committing training places to skill people for aged care industry opportunities as part of the 2020-21 NSW Budget.
Skilled aged care workforce is critical
Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said LASA supported the initiative.
“Ensuring a professional and expanded workforce for aged care is critical to providing quality care,” Mr Rooney told Australian Ageing Agenda.
“We welcome the New South Wales initiative and we are happy to work with the state government to make sure this is a success,” he said.
“We encourage all states and territories to focus on training for aged care staff,” Mr Rooney said.
Mr Rooney said LASA has established its own national Centre for Workforce Development and Innovation and a Registered Training Organisation to support the development of a skilled workforce.
LASA and innovAGEING are also actively involved in the Australian Government’s $34 million Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translation Research, he said.