Edmen CSS: An insight into the community service workforce

13 April, 2017

Edmen CSS: An insight into the community service workforce

From July 2016, roll out of the full National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) took place and as a result, the disability care sector is now seeing a considerable expansion and a greater need for more disability support workers, particularly in Australia’s regional areas. Other factors include rising costs, employers facing significant challenges and increased societal and individual expectations. While the disability workforce is set to increase by 50% by 2020, there will be an even greater demand with increased services.

In addition to the disability sector seeing an increase in demand for workers, the aged care workforce over past years has also seen the same shortfalls in their labour market of aged care workers. Within this sector there have been several contributing factors including; growing number of aged care residents, the workforce itself is ageing and difficulties in attracting and retaining staff. It has been said that by 2050 the workforce will need to increase by two to three times of its current numbers.

With the healthcare sector becoming Australia’s largest employer, it is important for the workforce to receive necessary support in order for it to be a success and attract new talent to the industry. This can include initiatives for employee retention, training and recognition. Other ways of attraction have also been stimulated by some government initiatives to fund skills in the sector.

In a guideline from RMIT University, it suggests several aspects as a model to improve the relationship between disability service providers and their workforce. These attributes include, communication, organisational culture (values and expectations), flexible work, career pathways, training /mentoring support and recognition.

While every disability service provider is different, various workforce strategies to differ throughout Australia. There is also a need to rethink current structures to address these shortages which may include revised training and workforce structures.