TAFE & Adult Provision Caring workforce review

  • 30 Aug 2021
Credit: iStock/fumiko Inoue

The AEU has highlighted the need for secure funding, qualified staff, and significant improvements in pay and conditions to attract and retain workers in the disability sector in its submission to the Care Workforce Labour Market Study. The National Skills Commissioner is undertaking the in-depth study of the factors affecting the supply and demand of care workers, including the disability sector. 

In its response to the initial discussion paper, the AEU states: We need to celebrate people with a disability and those that work with them to improve their experiences. This work needs to be promoted and showcased for the rewarding work it is emotionally and which needs to be acknowledged for the complexity of the work and appropriately remunerated.

The AEU is pressing the need for mandatory minimum qualification requirements and career paths within disability, including improved opportunities for workers to move into leadership positions. Given high levels of abuse and neglect in the sector confirmed by the Disability Royal Commission, the union also supports the role of worker registration to help lift safety and standards. 

The unpredictable nature of the current NDIS funding model – with fluctuations in the annual pricing guide affecting access to funding for people with disability, along with lengthy waiting lists for assessments – is a block to attracting potential employees to the sector, the union says.

The final report is due by the end of September to help inform the federal government’s care workforce strategy.

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