Nov 18, 2021

Aged care worker shortage inspires provider to offer staff incentives in recruitment drive

Aged care worker shortage inspires provider to offer staff incentives in recruitment drive

An aged care provider struggling to hire enough workers at its homes and retirement villages is offering to pay staff training and expenses in an attempt to attract new recruits.

Amana Living will offer an uncapped number of online training courses to staff, particularly to those in the remote Kalgoorlie-Boulder region of Western Australia.

Amana chief operating officer, Jenny Williams, told the ABC there is an enormous shortage of aged care workers.

“Particularly for us in the Goldfields, we are very, very keen to welcome new staff,” Williams said.

It is hard for the aged care sector to compete with other healthcare employers, such as hospitals, which are recruiting from the same pool of workers, she said.

The closure of Westerns Australia’s borders was compounding recruitment problems, in particular, it was preventing aged care providers from being able to recruit migrant workers now unable to enter the state.

Amana Living offers training through its own Registered Training Organisation, delivering courses that are part of the government’s ‘Lower fees, local skills’ subsidy program which reduces selected course fees by up to 72%.

The full course fee for a Certificate III in aged care from the Amana Living Training Institute is $826.20, according to the company’s website, compared with the maximum fee of $1,200 for non-concession students.

While there is no prerequisite knowledge for these courses, Amana Living says it prefers candidates who are “naturally kind and want to serve older Goldfields residents”.

With the aged care sector forecast to need one million workers by 2050 to meet growing demand, attracting new staff to the sector is a high priority and emerging as a major challenge.

COVID-19 has not helped, with aged care homes bearing the brunt of outbreaks, and border closures meaning it’s been impossible for overseas workers to move into the sector. State border closures have also hindered employment across state borders.

There seems to be little impetus by employers to increase pay rates, even though it’s widely acknowledged aged care workers are underpaid.

Aged care providers offering staff benefits may also go some way to improving the reputation of the sector as a desirable one to work in, where employers cater to the needs of their staff and look after them.

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  1. We don’t need any more overseas people in aged care, there are too many, they don’t speak our language and residents can’t understand what they are saying.

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