This is our final instalment of the Change2020 series around the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Budget 2021 impact on the aged care and disability sectors. Today we look at the 83,000+ extra workers needed for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We examine what it means for the carer industry, and importantly what service provider leaders can do now to right size their workforce for the future.
The workforce challenge is affecting many sectors, and People & Culture leaders will need to think and act in new ways in this space:
- What do we need to do to update our attraction and selection practices?
- How are we creating a workplace where people want to work?
- How are we working with our workforce to support them to be future fit?
- How prepared are we for the changes?
We dive in to take a closer look at what the Federal Government is doing over the next two years to reduce red tape for providers and make it easier for workers to work across the three areas of care – aged care, disability and veteran.
The recent budget announcements highlight the opportunity for providers to look at how they can expand staff numbers to operate within the new industry compliance requirements. This spells opportunity for growth and potential change to providers’ operational models.
In addition to these critical questions and the opportunity to expand, you may also need to consider the impact of changes on the way you do business. Consider things like your organisational structure, how senior leadership roles will need to adapt, your frontline staff service delivery and their existing skillset, your infrastructure and shared services that support your frontline teams. We encourage the care industry to access the right advice and resources so you can expand and push through change while minimising disruption to your day-to-day operations.
A bit about the numbers
During this year’s Budget announcement, the government highlighted the extra $13.2 billion it injected into the NDIS. Also noteworthy for the care sector, was the $12.3 million earmarked to increase the NDIS workforce. An injection desperately needed as the number of NDIS program users currently sits at 450,000, with that number anticipated to increase to 530,000 in four years. To care for this increase of future NDIS recipients, a further 83,000 trained workers will be needed, taking the total disability sector workforce to almost 353,000.[i]
Building the NDIS carer workforce is challenging because NDIS providers are competing in the same space to attract workers as the aged care sector – an area that also needs an additional 57,000 workers to address future demand.[ii]
Government Program to Align All Carers into One Pool
To address the carer workforce shortfall, the government is trying to pool all workers in the care and support industry. The plan is to align employment requirements across the aged care, disability and veteran sectors – an important example of this unification push is for there to be a single code of conduct and an improved information-sharing system which will mean workers need to meet a unified set of high standards of behaviour and standards to which they can be held accountable, and that these apply across the entire care industry.[iii]
Government Laser Focus
Right now, the Federal Government has a laser focus on the care industry. With the Royal Commission’s findings and big budgetary support, the Federal and State governments want to see a “once-in-a-generation” change for the care industry and there is opportunity for care providers to jump on this change train.