The job market for home care workers in Australia is “not as good as it could be”, according to the head of the country’s largest home care industry.
Key points:Key points Home Care Australia says it is looking for more home care jobsA recent survey by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) found home care is a vulnerable sectorJob opportunities in the sector are particularly vulnerable in rural areas, as it can take up to three years to train candidates to work in the industryA shortage of trained home care professionals is a key reason the sector is facing a shortage of candidates, ACOSS chief executive, Tim Williams, said on Tuesday.
He said the situation is “very, very dire” in the country, with just four per cent of home care positions open for hire nationally.
In fact, just over a third of Australian home care employers are currently looking for a home care worker in the position.
Mr Williams said the sector had “very high” vacancies, and said more than half of employers were not even looking for home health care workers.
“That’s a serious problem, a serious threat to the health of people in the community,” Mr Williams said.
“We need to do more to attract home care people into the profession.”
He said more recruitment is needed.
“The industry is struggling,” he said.
“We are at a critical point in time in the job market, particularly in rural Australia.”
There are very, very high vacancies.
We are seeing a significant number of vacancies.
“I think we need to recruit more home health workers.”
The Australian Council for Social Service said the number of home health job vacancies in the nation was “only slightly higher” than the average for other health professions.
However, ACoss chief executive Tim Williams said this was a “serious problem” in Australia, where home health services accounted for less than one per cent in the population.
“A number of our programs have been directed to help people with home health, and we’ve got a number of programs that are looking to recruit home health professionals,” Mr Williamson said.
The ACOSS survey, which was conducted by the Association of Australian and New Zealand Registered Nurses, found home health and home support jobs were the most vulnerable in the home care sector.
The survey found the average age of a home health worker in Australia was 41 years old, with a median of 55 years.
In a statement, ACOS said its latest annual report highlighted a number “of key challenges facing home care”.
It said: “We have experienced a significant increase in the number and proportion of vacancies in our home health sector, which are also increasing the cost of homecare and the level of pay that is being offered.”
In addition, a significant proportion of our staff are over-qualified for the position they are seeking, and our workforce needs to be trained to provide care to people who are ill, injured or vulnerable.
“These are issues that are of particular concern to the home health workforce.”
In April, ACOSH released the results of a research survey which found home healthcare workers were the only sector in Australia with a vacancy rate above 5 per cent.
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