Dec 11, 2017

Australian Medical Association warned State Government that Aged Care Graduates were “Unemployable”

The aged care sector is in need of more quality staff to meet the growing population of aged care residents.

This is reportedly something that South Australia is struggling with as The Australian Medical Association warned the State Government that half of aged-care graduates were “unemployable”.

This warning, of the substandard training at TAFE SA, was made more than two years ago.

TAFE SA, is a taxpayer-funded organisation which has recently been under fire for failing to meet standards when ­audited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

Among the 14 training courses that were suspended from accepting new enrolments was the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing).

In 2015, the AMA higher education minister Gail Gago about this issue.

More recently, AMA wrote to Higher Education Minister Susan Close and the Department of State Development after it was announced that more than 1000 students might be forced to undergo reassessment.

Joe Hooper, AMA state chief executive, explained that their concerns regarding the quality of training in aged care seemed to have been ignored.

“Our own nursing lecturers who undertake accreditation of aged-care standards estimated 50 per cent of TAFE graduates needed upskilling and were unemployable,” Hooper told The Australian.

“Nothing was done to our knowledge to help these students and save this much-needed health workforce resource. At the same time quality private training providers in South Australia were defunded.”

“We offered to provide some sort of discussions or support or upskilling of students so that they could be employable, or to assist them in finishing their qualifi­cations, but we haven’t heard anything back,” he said.

A further internal inquiry into failures at TAFE SA has been ordered by the Government.

However, South Australia’s premier, Jay Weatherill has said there would no co-operation with a Senate inquiry into the scandal.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham explained that there were “provisions for the Senate to subpoena people to appear”.

“It seems as if everyday there is yet another person who comes forward about how they tried to give the state government warnings … none of those warnings seemed to be heeded,” he said.

Similar misconduct was reportedly seen in the Oakden aged care scandal – where there was reportedly a “succession of ministers were warned of problems but took no action,” says Deputy Opposition Leader Vickie Chapman.

Without proper training that meets the necessary standards, it’s highly unlikely that training organisations can create a strong workforce that offers quality care.

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  1. I understand the need for more theoretical learning in the current certificate 3 , however much of the staff activities revolve around practical skills. Once the cert 3 graduates move into the workplace supervision and continued learning are essential. In the past many facilities had senior staff available for this type of support however that has gone by the by with increased hours away from the floor for those able to assist or a reduction in their numbers leaving them too busy to help supervise and ensure skills of all staff are appropriate

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