Aged care organisation IRT Group and disability employment provider the Flagstaff Group are piloting a new training program to assist people with disabilities to move into a career in aged care.
IRT chief executive Nieves Murray said the 10-week training program provided education and work placements for seven Flagstaff employees with the aim of securing an entry-level role in aged care.
The participants will complete work placements in an IRT facility as part of their training with IRT College to receive a statement of attainment for four units of competency in a Certificate III in Individual Care.
“Securing a job with IRT or another local care provider to complete their on-the-job training is definitely a realistic outcome for program participants,” Ms Murray said.
The CEO of Flagstaff Roy Rogers said those selected for the program had shown a keen interest and aptitude for aged care work and already had experience in laundry services, food preparation and the delivery of meals to aged care clients through Flagstaff.
He said his organisation had been mentoring the seven individuals, often over several years, to build their work readiness skills and to prepare them for the move into open employment.
“Quite often people with a disability are moved into a job they really don’t want or they don’t understand and it fails. The individuals participating in this program have been working in and out of the linen and food services area. Some of them actually do deliveries to aged care customers and so they have an affinity there. They are bursting to take on the challenge and hopefully get an entry-level job or traineeship in aged care,” he told Community Care Review.
Mr Rogers said the support and mentorship offered to the candidates and the focus on selecting the right person suited to the industry were critical factors for ensuring the program’s success.
The program sought to take advantage of increased job opportunities in aged care, address the low rates of employment for people with disabilities and deliver community and personal benefits through paid employment, he said.