The Australian Nursing Federation says an injection of Federal Government funding for new aged care teaching centres will assist in the development of urgently needed aged care workers across the country.
Minister for Ageing Mark Butler has announced that 16 grants totalling $8.25 million will be provided to universities and aged care facilities as part of the Teaching and Aged Care Services (TRACS) initiative.
By 2050, the Minister revealed more than 1 in 20 working Australians will be working in aged care.
ANF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the new funding will help develop the new workforce urgently required to meet the challenges of Australia’s ageing population.
“As the ANF’s recent Because We Care campaign highlighted, aged care is facing a shortage of more than 20,000 nurses across the sector,” Ms Thomas said today.
“That’s why the ANF welcomes any new funding to assist in the development of new aged care nursing and care staff as well as maintaining high professional standards to ensure that quality care is delivered to vulnerable, older Australians living in nursing homes.
“We are witnessing an increasing number of highly-qualified nurses leaving the sector and new funding arrangements like TRACS are a positive initiative for the aged care workforce.”
Ms Thomas said the ANF continues to work with aged care providers and other stakeholders as part of the specially-convened Workforce Compact to ensure that the announced $1.2 billion in Federal Government funding for the aged care workforce allocated in the May Budget is used to close the wages gap for aged care workers.
Aged care nurses currently earn on average $168 and $300 a week less than their colleagues working in public hospitals.
The ANF, with over 220,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
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