Settlement Services International (SSI) is one of six organisations chosen by the Morrison Government to help boost Australia's ability to provide care at home and support more senior Australians to access Home Care Packages and remain independent at home.
More than $91 million under The Home Care Workforce Support Program has been allocated to organisations in each state and territory with SSI to deliver the program in NSW and the ACT with support from member organisations SydWest Multicultural Services and Advance Diversity Services.
The program aims to grow the nation’s home care workforce by 13,000 over the next two years.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, said all home care providers could work with SSI and the other organisations to grow and upskill their workforce.
“Senior Australians need a skilled, diverse, compassionate and valued workforce who will provide safe and high-quality care. The Home Care Workforce Support Program will help senior Australians to remain at home by growing the personal care workforce. This will allow people to access home care services where and when they need them,” he said.
SSI CEO Violet Roumeliotis said, “SSI welcomes the opportunity to help increase the number and skills of people providing aged care in the home, and most importantly, enabling senior Australians to have choice and agency to live independently in their own homes for longer. We congratulate the Government on such an innovative program that will support many Australians and families to change their lives for the better.
"SSI is in a unique position to connect with people who wish to upskill, re-educate or join the home care workforce given our relationship and collaboration with community organisations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities across the state of NSW and ACT.
"We work very closely with people seeking employment and training pathways and understand the complexities faced in regional and remote areas regarding career opportunities. We are committed to working within the aged care sector with a particular focus on sector development and training," she said.
Sonia Vignjevic, SSI’s General Manager for Clients, Partnerships and Business Growth, said, “Our work on this program will embrace the diversity and identity of both employers and the workforce, with particular recognition of the need to facilitate connectivity between regional and remote locations and our urban centres.
"This includes supporting employers and registered training organisations to develop and deliver culturally appropriate approaches to the structuring of roles and educational opportunities, to meet both the needs of workers and care recipients.
“The program aims to raise awareness of career opportunities in the sector; skill and screen new workers; and better equip providers to attract, train and retain workers, including through supporting access to JobTrainer aged care training places."
SSI will help to develop and enhance aged care by:
- promoting training and support opportunities for new recruits and others who wish to upskill
- supporting new recruits to navigate and access training opportunities
- providing virtual mentoring and career guidance support to students undertaking training
- linking trained personal carers to job vacancies in the home and community care sector
- providing advice and training to the aged care industry on recruitment strategies and how to maintain a diverse workforce