• Skilling South Australia

Caring for our elderly

GIVING BACK: Former aged care student Zoe Waters with her grandfather Charlie Brown. Picture: Mike Burton/The Advertiser.

Courtesy of The Advertiser.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation’s education arm, ANMEC, has partnered with the South Australian Government to open up new pathways to a career in aged care.

The Aged Care Traineeship Program will support 20 participants to undertake their Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) over a 12-month period, receiving their formal training from ANMEC and workplace training through an aged care facility.

ANMEC is engaged in bringing aged care service providers on board to participate in the traineeship program, which the organisation is hoping to launch in April. “We have some really strong relationships with several of the large aged care providers in South Australia,” says Leanne Hague, ANMEC Head of Learning and Development. “We’re very fortunate that Skilling South Australia is providing us with the opportunity to fund something like this.”

Industry and Skills Minister David Pisoni says investing in aged care workers is crucial to the future of our state. “South Australia – like many regions worldwide – faces the challenges posed by an ageing population,” he says. “It is important to establish a skilled workforce now to meet the future demand for qualified carers.

“While this is obviously a fundamental step in ensuring our elderly residents have access to high-quality support, it also presents great economic benefits as job opportunities continue to emerge.”

Aged care worker Zoe Waters completed the same qualification with ANMEC in 2017 and has since been employed by the same service provider with which she did her training. The 23-year-old from Osborne provides residents at an aged care home with personal services, such as washing, dressing and eating, as well as giving them a little TLC and someone to talk to.

The latter, she says, is one of her “biggest priorities”, even on timepoor days. “It’s still extremely important to make them feel like this is their home and they are loved and supported,” she says.

“I feel extremely privileged to work in such a special job because we care for people who have been through all walks of life – the stolen generation people, the Holocaust people, they’ve been in world wars, genocides – and they now want to be cared for by someone who wants to give the love and the respect they deserve.

With more than a quarter of aged care workers due to retire in the next decade, the employment forecast for qualified aged care workers looks bright.

“There are hundreds of jobs to work in aged care and community care so the opportunities are there,” says Kylie Natadra, ANMEC’s Course Coordinator.

Hague advises anyone interested in the traineeship to contact an aged care provider to find out about possible traineeships and point them in the direction of ANMEC. “We know providers want staff and we know they’re interested in the students we produce, so it’s just a matter now of driving that change,” she says.


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