​With aged care one of the top 10 industries most affected by skills shortages in Australia, Settlement Services International (SSI) has yesterday launched a recruitment campaign to attract workers into the sector.

Reports estimate that an additional 35,000 workers will be required every year to fill the growing demand. SSI’s new Home Care Workforce Support Program (HCWSP) will train and provide ongoing support and long-term career opportunities to talent across NSW and the ACT.

Iggy Pintado, Head of Home Care Workforce Support Program at SSI said that the program will identify, screen, upskill, mentor and place 4,400 new talent across NSW and the ACT.

“The Royal Commission shone a light on the importance that staying at home has for older people, revealing that over 90 per cent prefer this to moving into residential aged care,” he said.

Representing New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, SSI is one of six organisations operating under the Department of Health and Aged Care’s Home Care Workforce Support Program, the aim of which is to grow Australia’s home care workforce by 13,000 nationally over the next two years, until mid-2024, so that older adults can live independently for longer while having the peace of mind of knowing that they will receive safe and quality care

The HCWSP is open to candidates with different levels of education with a particular focus on soft skills, including empathy and patience. Successful participants will be provided the opportunity to embark on a meaningful and long-term career in at-home aged care that offers flexible work hours and location, as well as continuing training and support.

Since more than a quarter of care workers in Australia come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Sonia Vignjevic, SSI’s General Manager for Clients, Partnerships and Business Growth, noted that SSI, with an extensive footprint across NSW’s multicultural community, is uniquely placed to reach new talent within these groups.

“Our team will provide them with the preparation they need while being mindful of their background and leverage the strengths they can bring to their work in home aged care,” she said.

A key objective for SSI is to design talent retention plans to showcase how a home care worker can secure a steady job into the future.

SSI also seeks to drive the sector’s development by partnering with home care providers to help better equip them to attract, train and retain qualified workers. 

“We are working with partners across government, home care providers and registered training organisations to bring about sector development. We are doing this by putting training at the centre of this program,” Mr Pintado said.

To join or for more information about the SSI Home Care Workforce Support Program for NSW and the ACT, visit https://www.ssi.org.au/homecare