The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) says an injection of federal government funding for new aged care teaching centres will assist the development of urgently needed aged care workers across the country.
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, last week announced 16 grants totalling $8.25 million to be provided to universities and aged care facilities as part of the Teaching and Aged Care Services (TRACS) initiative.
ANF federal secretary, Lee Thomas (pictured), believes the new funding will help develop the new workforce which is 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 says.
“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 quality care is delivered to vulnerable, older Australians living in nursing homes.”
She adds the aged care sector is “witnessing an increasing number of highlyqualified nurses leaving the sector”. According to Ms Thomas, new funding arrangements like TRACS are “positive initiatives” for the aged care workforce.
Ms Thomas claims the ANF will continue to work with aged care providers and other stakeholders as part of the speciallyconvened Workforce Compact; ensuring 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.