Migration Solutions for skills shortage of Aged Care workers

With the Health Care and Social Assistance industry projected to make the largest contribution of 250,300 new positions, is Australia ready for this growth?

The Australian Health Care and Social Assistance industry expects an employment growth of 250,300 new positions by May 2023. Is Australia ready for this growth?
According to the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the total employment in Australia is expected to increase in 17 of the 19 broad industries over the next five years. In that regard, this is a projected increase of 886,100 new positions by May 2023.

Described by many industry stakeholders as a “significant challenge”, the Transforming Aged Care report by HESTA reveals the sector faces a “looming shortage of aged care workers” and difficulties which are “exacerbating the staff retention/attraction challenges already facing the industry”. On the other hand, Dr Tony Bartone, President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), has urged for registered nurse-to-resident ratios to be considered in the Royal Commission into Aged Care and commenting that AMA members are “deeply concerned” that the system is under-resourced to meet demands.

What can you do if you’re a provider?

A study conducted by the University of New South Wales’ Social Policy Research Centre found that care workers from overseas are generally younger and better-educated on average, with nearly one in every four holding a bachelor’s degree whereas only one in 12 Australian-born care workers have similar credentials. Due to the increasing demand and aging labour force, the Aged Care industry is already looking to overseas skilled workers to assist with their staffing needs. In these situations, the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) (TSS Visa) provides a suitable solution with two-fold benefits: it can assist providers in addressing the shortage of skilled workers within the local workforce, and at the same time allows providers to better support older Australians who are from multicultural backgrounds.

In that regard, the TSS Visa enables employers to address labour shortages by hiring skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian worker. TSS Visa holders have the right to work in Australia in their skilled occupation for their sponsoring employer. In some circumstances, the TSS Visa also provides a pathway for the migrant worker to stay in Australia for a longer-term if they have employer support.

Where a provider requires access to overseas workers with occupations not on the list of eligible skilled occupations, they have the added option to request a ‘Company Specific Labour Agreement’ within the TSS Visa program to assist in their delivery of vital aged care services. This additional pathway was announced to be available from 11 March 2019 by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs in a recent media release.

Whether you are a provider seeking to fill skills shortages or a skilled overseas worker wanting to contribute to the Australian workforce, we can assist in finding the best migration solutions to benefit all parties involved.

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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