There is an urgent need for frontline workers in both the health and aged care sectors as a result of the pandemic.
We're recommending a national mature age traineeship program to attract quality mature age home care workers.
Increasing the number of mature workers in home care will boost the income and savings of older Australians while helping to deliver quality care to those who need it.
Why the policy is needed
- Evidence from the existing pilot (run by provider My Care Solution) shows home care recipients and home care providers prefer mature aged workers.
- Demand for care workers is growing rapidly – CEDA estimates a shortfall of 400,000 workers by 2050.
- Mature aged workers are in demand in home care – The average worker age in community care is 50.
- According to the ABS in 2018-19, there were 233,000 people aged 50 - 69 who were not unemployed but want to work either full or part time (they are not in the labour force, not retired and not currently employed).
Older Australians prefer to stay at home, with a mix of informal (family) and formal (paid) support. Recognising this preference should be a priority.
It’s not just about increasing the number of home care packages, it’s also about having an adequate supply of workers to meet demand.
That is why we're recommending a national mature age traineeship program to attract quality mature age home care workers.
Mature aged workers are not being adequately serviced by existing training programs. The existing Restart program is a failure with limited take-up of its $10,000 subsidies.
National Seniors Australia is also campaigning to Let Pensioners Work, by exempting employment income from the Age Pension income test. This will encourage older Australians to stay in, work more and rejoin the workforce to address crippling labour force shortages, such as those in the aged care sector.
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