The Turnbull Government’s $33 million Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program has taken a major step forward, with the appointment of a consortium led by Ernst & Young (EY), including not-for-profit organisations and an employment service, to implement the job-creating initiative.
Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, and Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, announced the successful applicant today, chosen from a strong field of shortlisted organisations.
“The Australian Government is committed to supporting a strong and sustainable workforce ahead of the full roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2020,” Mr Porter said.
“The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program is designed to create more jobs in the disability and aged care sectors in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas across Australia, With demand for new workers in these sectors growing rapidly.”
An estimated 60,000 more full time workers will be required by 2019 to meet the demand in the disability sector created by the NDIS, growing from about 73,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2013 before the NDIS trials began, to around 162,000 full-time equivalent workers when the scheme is fully implemented in 2019-20.
At the same time, the aged care workforce is also growing, but over a broader time period, from 366,000 in 2016 to 980,000 workers by 2050.
The Boosting Local care Workforce Program will help employers increase the supply of care workers in the right geographical areas to meet the needs of both NDIS participants and the aged care sector.
“EY has extensive experience in delivering business support to a variety of sectors across Australia, including the NDIS, and an ability to build exceptional networks,” said Mr Porter. “EY has a sound knowledge of the unique issues facing the disability and aged care sectors, making it an ideal choice to deliver this important initiative.
“In addition to its extensive experience delivering business support, EY will partner with Serendipity WA, Community Services Industry Alliance and First Peoples Disability Network, creating a strong network with influence across the specialised service sectors.“The competition was extremely strong; all the applications received through the grant process were to a very high standard.”
The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program was announced in the 2017–18 Budget and is made up of three elements:
- $9.1 million for the Care Workforce Regional Coordinator Initiative supporting NDIS and aged care providers in regional, rural and outer metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, and raising awareness of employment opportunities in the NDIS and aged care through public awareness sessions. A group of up to 25 skilled care workforce regional coordinators will be placed in key locations across Australia to engage with local NDIS and aged care providers and build local networks.
- $4.1 million for the national Specialist Coordinator Initiative, engaging a group of up to 10 specialists to engage with the disability and aged care sectors.
- $19.8 million for the Sector Transition and Employer Support Initiative to deliver one‑on-one transition support to NDIS providers to for business advice and professional services.
Minister Wyatt said the Program was vital for the disability and aged care sectors.
“The assistance provided by this grant opportunity will help disability and aged care providers in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas compete in what is an increasingly market-driven environment,’ the Minister said.
“This Program will support providers to expand and integrate their workforce to meet the needs of NDIS participants and the care sector more broadly, complementing our aged care reforms.”
Assistant Minister Prentice stressed the importance of the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program to the disability and aged care sector.
“The Program builds on the Government’s considerable investment to assist NDIS participants, providers and workforce to transition to the Scheme, with more than $109 million committed already through the Sector Development Fund,” Mrs Prentice said.
“Through the NDIS the Australian Government is supporting people with disability to live more independent lives, be equipped with choice about the services and support they need, and be able to more fully participate in their communities.
“Since it began in 2013, the NDIS has created a shift in the way people with disability engage with services and support.”
The Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program is expected to commence in January 2018.