The Territory Government and Charles Darwin University (CDU) are boosting training for the next generation of aged care workers with the construction of a new Training Centre for Aged Care at CDU’s Casuarina campus.
The Minister for Jobs and Training Paul Kirby, Minister for Education and Seniors Lauren Moss and the CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman AO joined today to announce the Territory Government’s $1.7 million investment to strengthen aged care workforce skills across the sector.
The centre will primarily deliver VET qualifications to ensure that Territorians have a compassionate and well-trained aged care workforce. Ultimately, the Centre will be able to expand for supporting higher education programs and research at the university.
The training centre, which will be built by Scope Building NT, will create up to 70 jobs during the construction phase. It will provide a learning environment for 24 students with room for four aged care beds and equipment that will mimic an aged care facility to aid student learning.
It will also feature a pan room, kitchen and general-purpose teaching area as well as showers designed for people with disabilities. The surrounding area will be fully landscaped following the completion of the works.
The demand for workers in the aged care sector in the Northern Territory is driven by an aging workforce with Territorians aged 65 plus expected to increase 242 per cent by 2041. Aboriginal Territorians make up 39 per cent of aged care clients.
The centre is in line with recommendations from the final report from The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which recommended ongoing development of workforce capacity through requirements for training and professional development.
There are 1500 aged care workers in the Northern Territory, majority of them female, with skill shortages exacerbated by staff turnover of 30 to 40 per cent.
Quotes from Minister for Jobs and Training Paul Kirby
“We recognise there is a growing need to train new aged care workers and provide ongoing training to the existing workforce, which is why we are contributing $1.7 million to strengthen aged care workforce skills in the Territory.
“Training in aged care can unlock a very rewarding career path and with the Territory and Australia’s population getting older, aged care is one of the few industries where job security and new opportunities are almost guaranteed for decades to come.”
Quotes from Minister for Education and Seniors Lauren Moss
“Our Government values our seniors and we want to ensure they are receiving the best possible care when they are in supported accommodation. Developing a strong local aged care workforce is a critical component to this.
“This investment ensures the Northern Territory has modern training infrastructure so we can develop a strong, capable, and home-grown nursing, supervision and support workforce, ensuring quality care to older Territorians and peace of mind to their families.”
Quotes from Charles Darwin University Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO said
“This centre will aid the training of future aged care workers and allied health professionals to service the needs of the Northern Territory community.”
“We know that support, training and development are essential for the future workforce to ensure safe, high quality aged care is delivered for Territorians,” Professor Bowman said.
“The centre will provide training to help our students be better equipped as they enter the workforce, so that they can provide better support to staff and the residents they work with in aged care settings.”