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Industry body releases new Workforce Planning Tool

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC), an organisation working to improve the Australian aged care workforce, launched a new online tool yesterday designed for and by aged care providers to improve workforce planning.

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The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC) has launched a new Tool, which is free for aged care providers to utilise in their workforce planning. [Source: iStock]

The Workforce Planning Tool is free for all aged care providers and will support organisations to understand their workforce and start laying the foundation for sustainability within their workforce plan.

ACWIC believes this tool will assist aged care providers to find areas where they need to improve and grow their workforce, as well as prepare organisations for future challenges.

Sustainability of the workforce has been a huge concern within the sector with reports earlier in the year suggesting one in five aged care workers were intending to quit the industry within the next 12 months.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ACWIC, Louise O'Neill, says this new Workforce Planning Tool will be a breakthrough for many aged care providers.

"We know that there is an enormous amount of pressure on aged care providers to build and maintain a sustainable workforce as the demand for care increases," explains Ms O'Neill.

"Workforce planning is absolutely critical to ensure that older people continue to receive a high standard of care, and that the wellbeing of aged care workers remains a priority.

"Our workforce planning tool provides accessible and practical assistance, including resources and instant visual insights to help providers to better understand their current workforce, where the gaps may be, and model future scenarios to enable proactive workforce planning."

Aged care workforce planners will be able to use this tool by entering information about the people they provide care to, the current roles they have and services they provide, and then receive an analysis of the gaps within their workforce.

Providers will also be able to use this tool for a prediction on their future model of care, based on new trends arising in the sector to plan for how the workforce might change.

The tool can be used to analyse the workforces of providers in both the home care and residential aged care sector.

Ms O'Neill says the tool will be very beneficial for small to medium-sized aged care providers to use, but invites providers of all sizes to make use of it.

"We have collaborated with aged care workers and managers responsible for workforce planning across a range of settings throughout the development phase, to ensure that it is fit for purpose," explains Ms O'Neill.

"We've received really positive feedback so far, and we'll continue to seek input from the sector as we work to improve the features and functionality.

"The development of the Workforce Planning Tool is a major investment on behalf of the aged care sector. It will support the sector to adopt more sustainable planning practices as we enter this period of significant reform."

This new planning tool addresses the findings in the 2018 national aged care workforce strategy report, A Matter of Care, which showed the sector didn't have a standard approach to planning its workforce, including modelling for skills mixes.

The ACWIC is currently working to coordinate and implement the 14 strategic actions recommended in the report, while also adapting the actions to fit with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

On 17 June, the ACWIC is hosting an online 'lunch and learn' session for providers wishing to use the Workforce Planning Tool. You can find out more about the event here.

To access the new Workforce Planning Tool, visit the ACWIC website.

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