Aged care work is it really ‘just a job’?

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A new survey commissioned by the not-for-profit aged-care sector in the face of the looming crisis in the workforce reveals 62% of 500 tertiary students aged between 18 and 23 wouldn’t consider working with the elderly as a career, merely, a job.

So where will the workforce come from?

Chris Mamarelis, chief executive of the Whiddon group of aged-care facilities says, “The findings are disappointing.  We have to keep finding ways to change their perceptions.”

Even more disturbing is that the Aged-care Workforce Taskforce predicts more employees will leave the industry in the coming years than enter it.

Mr Mamarelis says, “We made dozens of recommendations to address the shortfall but, they’re sitting on shelves somewhere.”

Whiddon, which operates 19 facilities and employs 2300 staff, recently began offering a tertiary student mentoring program in age-care residences in regional NSW and QLD.

However, almost one in five of those surveyed said they wouldn’t consider working in the industry because of what they have seen in media reports, while most see not having experience with older people as a barrier to entry.