New collaboration to boost East Kimberley disability and aged care sectors using local workforce
Dozens of health, education and employment groups have joined forces to form a new advisory group to address workforce shortages and boost local employment in the East Kimberley disability and aged care systems.
Representatives from more than 50 groups were invited to attend the Care Sector Regional Workforce Advisory Group’s first meeting at Wunan Health late last month, where agencies discussed how greater collaboration could improve health and employment outcomes for the region.
It is part of the Federal Department of Social Services’ Boosting the Local Care Workforce program, supporting implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
In a time where all industries are struggling to find skilled staff, BLCW lead regional coordinator Jayson Sandiford said the group hoped to pull together resources, expertise and information to achieve tangible outcomes.
“We know there are challenges around border closures and the migrant workforce, so at the end of the day it’s about creating local employment opportunities for local people and ultimately servicing local community members who have got NDIS plans or who are in aged care,” he said.
Wunan senior social worker independent advocate Denise Gallo said the group’s first priority was to form an an action plan to track its progress, with high quality care a focus.
“A workforce that is local, that is culturally safe and aligned, and that is well-trained and sustainable is really the medium to long term response,” she said.
“I don’t ultimately believe in the fly-in-fly-out system of service delivery because ultimately we know it is not sustainable over time.”
The Care Sector Regional Workforce Advisory Group will hold quarterly meetings.
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