Free innovator training targets workforce retention

ARIIA has launched an innovator training program focusing on how to retain aged care workers.

Aged Care Research & Industry Innovation Australia has launched an innovator training program that focuses on one of the aged care sector’s biggest challenges – how to retain workers.

Like all ARIIA programs, Round 8 of the Themed Innovator Training Program is free. It will explore evidence-based, best practice approaches to retain aged care workers. It targets anyone employed to deliver care or services as part of the aged care workforce who has identified a problem that aligns with the theme.

It comes in response to current and predicted staffing challenges due to an ageing population – as highlighted in last week’s intergenerational report – and a staffing shortfall exacerbated by the pandemic, low pay and poor conditions, including low staffing.

The Committee for Economic Development of Australia painted this picture in its 2022 report – which predicted an annual shortfall of 35,000 aged care workers due in part to 65,000 workers leaving the aged care sector each year.

Source: CEDA’s report Duty of Care Aged Care Sector in Crisis

Worker surveys also highlight nurses and care workers feeling “physically and emotionally burnt-out” and intending to leave their roles. The 2022 survey from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation found two-thirds of respondents planning to leave their job within one to five years and one-fifth within 12 months. Meaning the latter might already be lost to the sector.

In addition to these known challenges, the theme also comes in response to ARIIA’s March 2023 aged care sector survey 34 per cent of respondents nominated workforce retention a top three priority that they wanted to address, a spokesperson told Australian Ageing Agenda.

This innovator training program aims to help participants understand how to grow their workforce, keep their teams and help them thrive. The program, according to ARIIA, will:

  • explore the workforce cycle and Australian initiatives related to workforce growth and satisfaction
  • examine strategies that can encourage staff to grow within a service and continue to be part of a valued and capable team
  • provide information to support self-care and address staff burnout
  • look at how technology can support human resources administration and reduce staff burden.

It involves a mix of guided workshops and learning modules. Participants will work with facilitators and have access to practical tools and resources to build confidence in planning and implementing changes.

Resources will include:

  • links to Australian workforce initiatives and supports
  • information about workforce planning tools
  • self-care assessment
  • a retention checklist.

Training will be delivered over five weeks in October and November. Applications close on 15 September.

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Tags: ARIIA, innovator training program, workforce retention,

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