A vital taskforce to progress workforce development across the aged care sector has yet to be established even though the Turnbull Government signalled it would be operational by July.
Disappointingly, the Abbott-Turnbull Governments have successively shown a complete lack of interest in relation to Australia’s aged care workforce.
It’s been four years of inaction on workforce development except for the scrapping of Labor’s $1.5 billion Workforce Compact.
There is an expectation the proportion of our population aged over 65, now around 14 per cent, will rise to 25 per cent over the next 30 years.
It is estimated there will be a need to triple the Aged Care workforce in the next 30 years to provide a high standard of living and care for older Australians.
This is no longer an optional policy area for the Turnbull Government.
Immediate action must be taken to make the taskforce operational so it can drive a workforce strategy that will deliver the necessary growth.
Labor is also concerned there has not been adequate consultation with a number of key stakeholders that will determine the final composition of the taskforce.
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee report into the Future of Australia’s Aged Care Workforce, adopted unanimously by all political parties, made a series of recommendations in relation to workforce development.
Importantly, the Senate Inquiry report recommended the taskforce include all stakeholders of the aged care sector.
If this taskforce is to be credible it must have representation from across the full range of providers, unions, carers, health professionals, employees and consumers.
The Turnbull Government continues to talk up how important aged care is, but it has failed to deliver any defining strategy to deal with the looming workforce crisis.
Labor stands with the sector in renewing our call on the Government to make a National Aged Care Workforce Strategy a priority before it is too late.
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