Meeting the future training challenge

The new CEO of the CS&HISC talks about the challenges facing the aged care workforce and shares his ideas on the way forward.

CS&HISC’s new CEO, Rod Cooke.

The aged care sector will have to adjust its approach to training as job roles become increasingly blurred, according to the new CEO of the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC).

In his first interview with AAA, Rod Cooke said aged care staff were increasingly taking on diversified roles.

“Whereas a physio used to just do phsyio work or a nurse just used to do dementia care, someone who works in aged care now has to know a lot more,” he said.

“These days, a nursing assistant has to know how to deliver medication and that was not expected before.

“The challenge for us is: How do we deliver them with the appropriate training? How do we broaden the skills of our workforce as jobs change?”

Mr Cooke highlighted the ageing aged care workforce as another major challenge facing the sector.

While the number of clients coming into aged care is set to increase dramatically in coming years, the sector will struggle to replace older nurses and carers when they leave the industry.

“So we have a twofold challenge: How do you attract people into the sector who are younger?”

“The other challenge is: How do we extend the lives of working people? How do we keep people in the workforce longer and enrich their jobs by giving them the training to move them along and keep them engaged?”

Mr Cooke comes to the national training standards body having held training management positions at Integral Energy and NRMA. He has also run a number of registered training organisations.

In his new role, Mr Cooke hopes to make the CS&HISC more responsive to the needs of community services and health providers.

“The development of new training packages is a laborious process that usually takes a couple of years and I don’t think that’s acceptable in our sector,” he said.

“It might be okay in an area such as manufacturing but with such rapid change in health and community services, we need to look at how we can change that – we need to adapt.”

Tags: ageing-workforce, cshisc, education-and-training, rod-cooke,

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