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980,000 Aged Care workers required by 2050, Royal Commission.

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Royal Commission: Aged Care workforce needs to grow to 980,000 workers by 2050

The Royal Commission into the Aged Care Quality and Safety has revealed some startling facts about Aged Care workforce in it's first background report, Navigating the maze: An overview of Australia's current aged care system.

Summarising the Aged Care Royal Commission Background Paper, it's interesting to note the identified aged care system trends, challenges and the expectations of the aged care workforce going forward.

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Aged Care Courses National College Australia NCA
Aged Care Courses National College Australia NCA
Aged Care Courses National College Australia NCA

Aged Care Workforce

A research report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics estimates that in the next ten years, the demand for informal care will significantly outstrip its supply.

The 2016 Census and Survey projects over 366,000 workers in aged care with more than 240,300 in direct care roles with personal care attendants attributing 70 percent of direct residential workers. Registered nurses made up 15 percent followed by 10 percent of enrolled nurses.

It estimates the residential aged care workforce is estimated to have grown by about 50 percent since 2003 with the Productivity Commission estimating that by 2050 the aged care workforce will need to have grown to around 980,000 workers.

The need to increase demand across the aged care sector was also supported by Aged and Community Services Australia chief executive Patricia Sparrow who stated the following:

'It is true that we have to triple the workforce in aged care by 2050, based on the current anticipated growth in the number of people who are going to require services.' and 'focus on increasing the number of people who do want to work in aged care'. - SBS Article

Aged care workforce to grow to 980,000 by 2050 #agedcare @NatCollegeAus

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Workforce Trends

The residential aged care workforce is estimated to have grown by 17% between 2012 and 2016, and in 2016, 65% of residential aged care employees worked in direct care roles.

From 2003 to 2016,  changes in the occupational mix are significant with residential facilities relying on personal care attendants to provide direct care to residents, with:

  • registered nurses reducing from 21% to 14.6%
  • enrolled nurses reducing from 13/1% to 10.2%
  • personal care attendants increasing from 58.5% to 70.3% of the workforce*

Personal care attendants increase from 598.5% to 70.3% of aged care workforce #agedcare @NatCollegeAus

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Workforce Challenges

Continuing reviews of the aged care system have identified some workforce challenges facing the aged care factor in relation to workforce numbers and skills mix, attraction, retention and career paths, remuneration and the levels of skills and qualifications.

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The commission has also recognised that the aged care workforce will need to expand considerably as the population ages and adopt new models of care and practice to meet changing expectations.

One of the biggest attention grabbing findings the Productivity Commission* estimates is the need for 980,000 additional aged care workers by 2050.

Sources: *Aged Care Royal Commission Background Paper and SBS Article

Royal Commission: aged care workforce need to expand considerably @NatCollegeAus

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