the aged care workforce

In 2016, over 4,500 aged care providers along with more than 15,000 aged care workers responded to the governments call to participate in the 2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey.

This report focuses primarily on direct care. Detailed information was collected on the presence, causes and consequences of skill shortages, job vacancies, the composition of the workforce including the use of agency workers and volunteers, the types of employment contracts used, prevailing industrial relations and other matters.

Some of the key findings are listed below.

Estimated number of aged care workers

366,027 (4 per cent increase since 2012)
– 235,764 in residential facilities
– 130,263 in home care and home support outlets

Characteristics of residential direct care workforce

• 87 per cent female
• Median age 46 years
• 70 per cent are Personal Care Attendants (PCA) / Assistants in Nursing (AIN)
• 32 per cent born overseas
• 78 per cent employed on a permanent and part time basis
• 10 per cent of the workforce are casual or contract employees (down from 19 per cent in 2012)
• 80 per cent of workers engaged in work-related training (mostly mandatory) in the previous 12 months
• 58 per cent of workers undertook Continuing and Professional Development (CPD)

Characteristics of home care and home support direct care workforce

• 89 per cent female
• Median age 52 years
• 84 per cent are Community Care Workers (CCW)
• 23 per cent born overseas
• 75 per cent employed on a permanent and part time basis
• 14 per cent are casual or contract employees (down from 27 per cent in 2012)
• 75 per cent of workers engaged in work-related training (mostly mandatory) in the previous 12 months
• 48 per cent of workers undertook continuing and professional development (CPD)

Emerging issues

The Productivity Commission has estimated that by 2050 the aged care workforce will need to have grown to around 980,000 workers.

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