Aged care provider says shortfalls will continue
Shortfalls in aged care funding and in workforce numbers will remain, despite a Federal Budget which commits to implement Royal Commission reforms, according to a local aged care provider.
"The real issue here is the huge droves of skilled staff who are leaving the industry for good," Peninsula Village chief executive Mr Colin Osborne said last week.
"The reality is these people are feeling fed up and are leaving the sector due to the pay, conditions and quite frankly, brighter prospects in other fields.
"The voices left out of this important conversation are the voices of the workers themselves.
"It was just last week that someone mentioned to me, you could be paid more in a retail or cleaning job than that of a caring and passionate aged care worker who is required to have an advanced set of skills.
"Quite simply, the existing award rates do not reflect the value and skills of the sector," he said.
"With most residential aged care providers running at substantial losses, the government needs to step up and bridge the pay gap.
"A pay increase for aged care staff may assist in promoting the attractiveness of employment in the sector."
But he said: "It will not accelerate the availability of more people with the skills and qualifications required in aged care.
"The skills shortage in aged care can only be addressed in the short term by attracting skilled staff back to the industry and potentially augmenting this with opportunities for skilled migration overseas.
"The longer-term solution must be the development of more aged care specific training and qualification opportunities for registered nurses and care workers.
"It is only with the availability of these additional people with appropriate skills that many of the recommendations from the royal commission into aged care can be genuinely and effectively implemented."
Media release, 7 Nov 2022
Colin Osborne, Peninsula Village