The Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will address the critical skills and issues associated with Australia’s aged care workforce needs, Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said on Wednesday.
“Aged care is an exciting and rapidly expanding field, with growing professional and career opportunities,” Mr Wyatt said.
“This new IRC will play an important role in Australia’s wider aged care reform by bringing industry together to help drive the necessary competencies and capabilities to deliver safe, quality care.”
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews added that the IRC is an example of how industry-led systems can respond to “significant workforce issues and drive change”.
“Through IRCs, we put industry front and centre in determining the skills and knowledge students and employers need, both now and into the future,” she said.
“This new IRC, dedicated to aged care, has come about because the sector is telling us there is a clear case for change.”
Including consumer advocates, peak industry bodies and both employer and employee representatives, the IRC will be built by the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) with a goal to review and develop the national competency standards for aged care vocational training.
It will also help facilitate “any required education and training reforms”.
The IRC will address the workforce issues identified by the government’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce.
Heading up this taskforce is Professor John Pollaers. Commenting on the establishment of the IRC, he said, “The Taskforce has been consulting rigorously and widely to understand the critical touchpoints in the care people need as they age.
“The new aged care IRC will be an opportunity for industry and consumers to work together to consider the competencies and skills needed by the workforce, as well as how to incorporate new living well models of care and career pathways.”
The AISC is currently seeking public feedback on the structure and feedback of the proposed IRC.
The public can submit their opinions of whether the structure reflects the aged care sector, whether any representative types should be added or removed and whether the structure preserves a consumer focus until Wednesday, 4 April.