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Aged Care

Overview

The Aged Care sector covers working with those who are elderly or infirm and in need of supportive care. The Australian Government provides a significant amount of funding for aged care services.

Sectors in the industry

These services generally fall into three categories:

  • permanent residential aged care
  • respite residential aged care
  • In-home care

Employer profile for the industry

The Community Services and Health industry employs 12% of the Australian workforce, with an estimation that one in four new jobs between 2013 and 2018 will be in that industry.

Source: Skills IQ Community Services and Health Environmental Scan 2015

There are approximately 1,100 employers in the Aged Care Residential Services sector, 50% of them employing between 20 and 200 people, and 12% employing more than 200 people.

Source: ABS, Counts of Australian Businesses, Jun 2012 to Jun 2016

There are 214,200 people working in the Residential Care Services sector. This category includes those working in Aged Care Residential Services, the largest sector. This number is expected to increase by 9% to 233,500 by 2020.

There are a further 222,700 people that work in the ‘Other’ Social Assistance Services sector. This sector includes a range of services that includes Aged Care Assistance Services.

Source: Department of Jobs and Small Business Industry Projections - Five Years to November 2020.

In 2012, there were estimated to be over 352,100 employees in the aged care sector working in residential and community settings, and in a variety of direct-care and non-direct care occupations. Of these, 240,445 were direct-care workers including: nurses; personal care or community care workers; and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Australia’s aged care workforce is expected to grow to around 827,100 in 2050.

Source: Australian Government My Aged Care website

Of the 273,503 places in government-funded aged care at 30 June 2015:

  • 72% of places were in residential aged care.
  • 27% were in home care 

Source Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Typical features of the workforce

The Department of Jobs and Small Business provides statistics for Aged and Disabled Carers as one employment category. Numbers and percentages apply to both groups as a whole.

  • There are 140,400 aged and disabled carers in employment. This number is expected to rise by 30% to 183,400 in 2020.
  •  Women make up 81% of the workforce.
  • The work is predominantly part time, with only 35% of workers full time.
  • The most common level of education attainment is Certificate III or IV.

Source: Australian Government Job Outlook website

Emerging sectors, future growth

Population ageing is expected to increase demand for aged care and related services. By 2051, over 1 million people aged over 65 are estimated to need residential high care, with at least a further 370,000 needing residential low care. Even larger numbers of older Australians will require low level and high level formal community care by 2051 (around 1.3 million in each category).

“Home Care Packages” allocated on a consumer-directed care basis were introduced in 2013. These provide funding to older people living at home to access care services, support services, clinical services and a range of other services. Consumer choice and service preference will be a major factor in this sector in coming years.

Part of the rising ‘aged’ population are people with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds.  There will be a corresponding increase in demand for aged care workers with the skills to work with an increasingly diverse client group.

As life expectancy increases so does demand for complex care. Aged care services will increasingly need to meet more high-level and complex needs relating to the management of chronic disease and mental health issues. New roles for care and support workers that require more advanced or specialised skills are increasing in both residential and community aged care.

Source: Skills IQ Community Services and Health Environmental Scan 2015

Licensed occupations and registrations

There are no occupational licences for aged care workers, however aged care facilities are required to demonstrate that their workforce has the appropriate knowledge and skills to perform their roles effectively. This can be achieved by requiring workers to hold an appropriate qualification.

Key Occupations

Aged Care Activity Worker

Accommodation Support Worker

Care Supervisor (Aged Care)

This industry is positioned in the following groups

Industry

Health, Care & Community Services

Work Type

Practical & Manual

Helping & Advising

Organising & Clerical

Ready to see where Aged Care can take you?

Career Pathways

Aged Care has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma.  Look at the Community Services Job Pathway Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz
 

Watch Robyn - Trainee Personal Carer

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Support Services

Further Research

Information

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below.

Industry

  • Skills IQ
  • Aged and Community Services Australia
  • Leading Age Services Australia
  • Aged Care Industry Association

Other Useful Links

  • My Aged Care (aged care workforce)
  • Department of Social Services
  • Australian Institute of Family Studies
  • Disability and Carers - Related Agencies & Sites
  • Seniors - Related Agencies & Sites
  • Department of Human Services