What can be done to train better-quality aged care workers?

Part 2, click here to read part 1.

Caring for the elderly, many working in the industry will agree, is a privilege.

How we help these people (who have given so much to society) at the end of their lives, is one way we can show how we honour and respect them.

Though often we would like our elderly friends and family to remain at home, sometimes this is not possible as they may begin to need help beyond that which families can provide. Aged care facilities are essential for providing care in these situations, and must be places where older Australians can feel safe and comfortable, and receive quality care.

How this care is provided is the key to success of residential aged care. Having a quality team of staff, with experienced and well-trained employees is the best way to provide the highest quality care for our elderly.

Skills – The Difference Between Compliance and Best Practice

Traditionally, having obtained either a Certificate 3 in Aged Care or Individual Support after completing their studies, graduate students from registered training organisations will go straight into the workplace as newly qualified employees with only a minimum level of practical placement experience obtained.

However, there are obviously challenges in this – what a student learns in theory, is not what they see or do on the job. This is where the quality of care can drop.

The aged care facilities that hire these staff (as well as the residents and their families) are unsatisfied with the quality of these employees and the skills that they bring. But in situations like this, are opportunities for improvement. In fact, some facilities are looking for a new approach to improve recruitment and retention for student-aged care workers.

This is where MAS National has found it can make a difference.

MAS National specialises in supporting businesses across Australia to develop highly skilled staff who drive quality care, through workplace training arrangements called traineeships. They are contracted by the Department of Education and Training to deliver Australian Apprenticeship Support Services at no cost to businesses.

Benefits of Traineeships for Aged Care Workers

Through traineeships, better engagement from aged care staff has been shown with some benefits being: increased productivity, care factor and future staff retention. In fact, 70% of the trainees that MAS National registers at facilities complete their training with the organisation and are more likely to stay with the business long term.

Traineeships help create positive developments in aged care staff, resulting in current knowledge and industry best practice, and thus, increased qualifications and skill level across the team and quality of service they provide.

“What aged care requires are care workers who are not only passionate about caring for the elderly, but are also driven to help the organisation thrive as a whole. Structured workplace development programs utilising traineeships have shown to provide this.”   Justin Potter from MAS National explains.

One of the most important things that some training options lack, is continual support to ensure staff remain engaged and continue to build on their skills at the standard expected of the organisation. MAS National proudly supports businesses and individuals to do this through ongoing pathway opportunities.

Traineeships provide Aged Care staff with more experience

Through traineeships, individuals get more than six times the workplace experience to develop their skills. As this experience is in the workplace, the trainees gain a better understanding of the business’s standard operating procedures and how they apply to the residents. Ultimately, this affects the trainee’s level of knowledge and advocates best practices quality of care delivered.

MAS Experience Aged Care

Ti Tree’s experience with traineeships

One of MAS National’s employer partners, ‘Ti Tree at the Village Glen’ in Rosebud Victoria, has shown how an effective traineeship model not only drives better quality of care but also improves business outcomes.

MAS National has and continues to work with Ti Tree to implement successful traineeship programs and is proud to have supported them in receiving a major national industry award.

Damien Malone, Operations Manager at Ti Tree, said, “They (MAS National) provide a great deal of information and support in relation to available funding streams, support available and obligations of both ourselves and our trainees.

“Opening our program to their networks has improved the number and quality of the candidates we are employing which has lead to improved outcomes from the program, including a higher calibre of trainees and more longevity in employment following the program.

“Our experience has been they are very professional, transparent in the way they work, clear in their communication, timely in their responses and support, and highly knowledgeable,” he said.

Mr Malone said partnering with a reputable business that has a successful track record and who values the partnership with you is the key to training successful aged care workers.

“Using pooled resources to ensure the quality of people you are bringing into the program is also important in ensuring success,” he said.

“Our focus when looking at trainees is on their locality to the facility paired with their attitude towards the role to ensure you pick the right person – then train them to the standard you want.”

This example shows that the benefits of the traineeship are maximised, and disruption within the facility is minimised.

MAS National’s advice can make a difference

MAS National is passionate about designing workforce solutions that drive business growth, productivity and service quality and this traineeship model is transferable across any business and has been shown to increase the success of many aged care facilities to date.

Through working with facilities on understanding, developing and designing a tailored traineeship program as a workforce solution, MAS National has been shown to increase employee skill sets, engagement and retention.

These traineeship programs bridge the gap between the theoretical learning and practical application, resulting in more engaged staff and happier residents.

MAS National also works with employers to design tailored traineeship programs in partnership with a quality registered training provider of their choice to build training programs that fit seamlessly into your everyday business operations.


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  1. Great to see a proactive approach to matching workers and employers and guiding the two along their journey. Justin explains MAS bridge the gap between theory and subsequent work life in aged care. This is a great initiative.

    I see many care staff who are workinng in aged care as a “fall back” option. Eg:
    they havent found employment in the traditional workforce
    they are heading towards retirement
    they are studying
    they have been offered government incentives

    How about we flip the idea of a career in aged care to attract bright disruptive, digitally savvy, collaborative people at the start of their working lives to come in and transform the sector?


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