Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt has announced nine grants will be available to employ 6,000 additional home care workers provided the application is submitted to Canberra by 27 August.
Another round of grants next year will be aimed at recruiting a further 7,000 workers.
The Home Care Workforce Support program will be provided through an open grant process, with one grant for each state and territory (NSW and ACT combined) and an additional two grants directed to regional and remote areas.
There are a range of eligible organisations who can apply for funding including from the aged care, training and employment sectors. Joint (consortia) applications can be made.
The Home Care Workforce Support program grants can used to support home care providers by:
- Screening candidates for suitability to promote training completion rates and job retention;
- Mentoring, support services and communities of practice to support workers who are new to the sector;
- Promoting and supporting work placements for people who are undertaking aged care training;
- Training existing staff so they can supervise students and new staff; and
- Helping providers attract and retain staff.
The size of each grant under the program will mirror the region’s demand for Home Care Packages, with a loading to reflect increased costs in regional and remote communities.
“The grants will support the employment of 6,000 new personal care workers in 2021-22 and 7,000 more in the following year, including an increase in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personal care workers,” said Mr Hunt in a statement.
The grants come as the Government looks to roll out an additional 80,000 Home Care Packages over the next two years as part of its Royal Commission reforms.
With many home care providers reporting shortages in carers and an inability to service packages now – and borders still shut to workers from overseas – will they deliver the much-needed boost that the Government and sector wants?
Details of the grants program can be found on the Australian Government’s GrantConnect website.