Almost 10,000 vacant roles and 37% NP and RN turnover in just 12 months: 2020 Aged Care Workforce Census

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After a lengthy delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of the 2020 Aged Care Workforce Census have finally been released by the Department of Health this morning – and they showcase the challenges facing residential care providers.

Aged care facilities reported that 29% of their direct care workforce had left their employment over the 12 months from November 2019 to November 2020.

This turnover was highest among NPs and RNs, with 37% having left their employment over the 12-month period.

In total, facilities reported a total of 9,404 vacancies in direct care roles at the time of the Census, most likely in their PCW workforce.

Almost half reported at least one PCW position vacant, with the average number of positions vacant across these facilities sitting at five.

The results also reveal a continuing shift in the profile of residential aged care workers with 50% now aged under 40.

Prior to the 2016 Census, previous censuses had noted that the RAC workforce was ageing and older than the national workforce.

In 2016, however, the age of the RAC workforce was younger than in previous years and the 2020 data shows that this trend has continued.

Around half of RAC staff are now aged under 40 years, an increase from around one-third in 2016.

RNs are the youngest, with around 60% of these workers aged below 40 years, compared to 42% of Enrolled Nurses and 50% of Personal Care Workers.

The workforce remains largely female at 86%, while the number of PCWs holding or studying for a Certificate III or higher in a relevant direct care field was similar to 2016 – 68% compared to 67%.

However, this number may be higher as facilities were responsible for reporting qualification levels on behalf of their workforce and there was no response for 26% of PCWs.

You can download the report here.

We will have more analysis of the Workforce Census including the home care and CHSP results in next week’s Thursday SOURCE.

Plus check out our special workforce issue of SATURDAY (out Saturday, 11 September) for a full discussion of the workforce challenges facing the sector.