Improving the aged care workforce

Improving workforce development within the aged care sector is the focus forGriffith’s Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovationfollowing a $520,000 federal grant.
Enabling the Centre to work alongside key providers, the Training and ResearchAged Care Services (TRACS) grant is aligned with a recent federal government
announcement to inject $10.2 million into building a better workforce for thesector.
“We already know that Australia has an ageing population and therefore theworkforce demand within this sector is only set to grow,” said program leader DrLorraine Venturato.
“The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, has stated that by 2050we expect more than one in 20 working Australians to be an aged care workerand that we need these workers to be as highly skilled as possible.
“Unfortunately, aged care currently has an image problem as well as an ageingworkforce and many young people do not see this sector as a highly desired area
to work in. We hope to change their focus by demonstrating viable aged carecareers that have creativity and innovation at their heart.”
To achieve this, the project team will focus on using innovative educationmethods such as engaging students from diverse backgrounds in collaborativeprojects witholder people and aged care staff.
“We will also be looking at using creative outputs such as photo-documentaryprojects on topics such as youth and death and dying to engage students, agedcare staff and older people in conversations about care and quality of life,” said DrVenturato.

“The project is also aiming to encourage a closer relationship between theuniversity and the aged care industry through a virtual community that bringsclinicians and researchers with an interest in dementia care together.”

Dr Venturato said that her and co-lead Professor Wendy Moyle will be workingwith key aged care providers such as RSL Care to assess their employment requirementsand how these can be enhanced.
Part of this will include facilitating effective clinical work placements for GriffithBachelor of Nursing students.

“We are aiming for students to experience positive clinical work placements withour aged care partners. All too often aged care placements serve to discouragestudents from considering a career in aged care. We would like to see that turnaround so that students have a more positive introduction to the sector and canidentify clear career benefits to choosing aged care.”