New Cairns aged care facility struggles to attract staff despite unemployment

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A recruiter for the Kewarra aged care facility in Kewarra Beach says attracting the right people has proved difficult, despite the local council reporting over 5,500 people unemployed in the last quarter.

The unemployment rate in Cairns was 6.71% in the March 2017 quarter, compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.90%.

We Care Recruitment recruiter Sarah Hutchinson told the Cairns Post she had managed to fill most of the 65-plus positions needed to open the home, but another 50 more carer, nursing, cooking, cleaning and laundry assistant jobs would need to be filled over the next year.

In addition, Graeme Croft’s Signature Care is set to open another three facilities in nearby Edmonton, Caravonica and Manoora over the coming 18 months, which will require up 500 staff.

70 aged care certificates have been issued by North Queensland TAFE in Cairns in the last year – clearly demand is much higher than supply.