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Little incentive to attract carers

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Little incentive to attract carers

The crucial act of planning for a workforce to prop up the national disability insurance scheme was "submerged" by the previous federal government and the incoming government is unlikely to address the problem, a social policy conference will hear today.

University of NSW research fellow Natasha Cortis argues the previous government introduced reforms to lift the wages and qualifications of workers in the aged and childcare sectors but workforce planning was left behind when DisabilityCare Australia was designed.

"In disability services, workforce issues have been relatively submerged," Dr Cortis said.

"A workforce strategy hasn't been part of the design of DisabilityCare Australia, for example, although there has long been recognition that the industry is confronting potentially severe workforce shortages and that something needs to be done to make the work more attractive, and increase wages, to attract more staff."

Dr Cortis analysed feedback from the sector, including clients and their families, and found a tension between people with disabilities, who wanted autonomy to choose who they paid for care, and the predisposition of governments to regulate the sector to designate "approved providers".

"Not only are national politics unlikely to be conducive to workforce development at present, in discussion of the workforce the interests of workers are sometimes -- we think inappropriately -- pitted against those of people with disabilities, framing the professionalisation agenda as a form of domination over people with disabilities," she said.

Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council chief Rod Cooke said there were huge gaps in the workforce.

"We haven't heard of any scheme being released to ensure there will be enough disability care and support workers to meet the fast approaching high demand, yet figures quoted during the election campaign by the former PM indicated Australia needs 90,000 qualified disability care and support workers within the next seven years at a training cost of around $475 million," he said.

References and further information

This article was originally produced by The Australian.

 

To view this article visit The Australian website  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/little-incentive-to-attract-carers/story-fn59niix-1226720497840

 

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