Aged-care industry aims to attract workers with job security and personal satisfaction – ABC News

It is an industry crying out for employees to fill growing demand, but Australians must first change the way they think about it, an aged care educator says.

Tracey Newcombe demonstrates a technique on an elderly mannequin in a bed while two students watch on.

The aged care sector is in the midst of a skills shortage and a damning royal commission showing weak regulation and poor wages, but attracting the workforce in the first place remains a major challenge.

“It’s a lot more than assisting old people to have a shower or get dressed,” said TAFE NSW aged care teacher Tracey Newcombe.

“The fact you can make such a difference to people is what most of us find the most rewarding thing.”

While the Federal Government has pledged to spend half a billion dollars on measures to overhaul parts of the aged care sector after the royal commission, frontline workers are trying to encourage people to consider a career in aged care.

Finding his calling with aged care

Italian immigrant Antonio Malevitsis worked as a full-time carer for the late Peter Nicholas, a customer at a cafe he worked at in Nowra on the New South Wales south coast.

Peter Nicholas holds his walking stick towards the camera while Antonio Malevitsis puts his arm around him.
The late Peter Nicholas with his friend and aged care worker Antonio Malevitsis.(

Supplied: TAFE NSW


He said the 98-year-old helped him find his calling in life.

“Peter has guided me in a way — I cooked for 13 years and this [looking after Peter] was my first experience in ageing and I really like it,” Mr Malevitsis said.

“Younger generations don’t understand the rewards for spending time with the elderly.”

Mr Malevitsis completed a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at TAFE NSW and said his new career path meant he would not struggle to find work.

He said it is one of the big selling points to try and address the skills shortage.

“It makes me proud and secure because there is such high demand [for aged care workers],” Mr Malevitsis said.

“I think I chose the right thing to do.”

Ms Newcombe said many of her students are offered work before finishing their studies.

“The employment prospects are excellent because we need to quadruple the amount of aged care workers to meet the growing demand,” she said.

A close-up shot of a hand resting on an elderly woman's hands.
The aged care sector will need one million extra workers by 2050, according to a Productivity Commission report.(

Pixabay: sabinevanerp


How the demand for aged care will look by 2050

According to a Productivity Commission report into Caring for Older Australians, the country’s ageing population means more than 3.5 million Australians will use aged care services by 2050.

Aged care will eventually be a major issue for a significant number of Australian voters, and the industry will need about a million workers.

Teacher Ms Newcombe said one way to attract people to the industry is to try and change the way they think about ageing.

“There are some issues that put people off, such as the staffing problems we have and it hasn’t up until now been paid as well as it should be, but that’s changing,” she said.

“It’s an attractive career and the employment is steady and you work with so many interesting people and learn so much from the people you look after.”

What area of individual support should you specialise in?

Certificate III in Individual Support has 3 specialisations.  Ageing, Home and Community and Disability.  This information is designed to help you decide which area you would best suit you if you are planning a career in this very rewarding area. Other duties and responsibilities may be required in addition to the summary. In all specialisations support should be person centred and facilitate empowerment of the person.


The ageing specialisation is designed for people who would like to work in an aged care facility, as part of a team supporting older people at a stage in their lives when they are no longer able to manage their lives independently.

Areas within a facility can be:

  • Low care
  • High care
  • Dementia (often called memory support)

One of the benefits of working in an aged care facility is that you are working with others as part of a supportive team.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Support clients in their independence and well-being
  • Provide residents with assistance as they accomplish daily tasks, including showering/bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting
  • Transfer clients, e.g. from their bed to a wheelchair
  • Assist clients to ambulate and mobilize
  • Recognise and report observed signs that the client’s physical or psychological health is at risk
  • Maintain documentation and reporting

Home and Community

The Home and Community specialisation is designed for people who would like to provide support for older people and their carers, to remain living independently in their own homes and community, in a dignified and safe manner in accordance with their individual plans. In this area you traveling to client’s homes to provide the necessary support.  You may visit several clients in one day. You will mostly be working on your own when you are out and about, supported by a coordinator who you can contact during your day.

You will have to be adaptable because the schedule you have at the beginning of the day may change when for example a client on your list has been taken to hospital or has decided they don’t need the service on that day.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Support clients in their independence and well-being
  • Domestic assistance including vacuuming, cleaning, laundry and food preparation
  • Provide clients with assistance as they accomplish daily tasks, including showering/bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting
  • Respite care, when the main care giver requires time out. This may include providing in-home care, activities or outings.
  • Social support to meet the need for social contact and/or accompaniment so the client can participate in community life
  • Provide transport to enable service users to access community and social activities and/or medical and specialist appointments.
  • Maintain documentation and reporting


The disability specialisation is designed for people who would like to provide support services aimed at maximising the living, employment, social and recreational skills of people wit

h disability.  Community inclusion, independence, decision making, and personal choice should be promoted through these supports with a focus on individual needs.

Expect a challenging yet rewarding experience working as a disability support worker. You will need to be flexible and able to remain calm when things change or go wrong.

Disability support may happen in various settings including:

  • Support for the person to remain living independently in their own homes
  • Support for the person to remain living independently in a group home
  • At a respite or activity centre which may also include outings in the community

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Actively support clients to achieve their personal aspirations
  • Provide practical and physical support as needed
  • Provide clients with assistance with personal care including showering, dressing, grooming, toileting and mealtime assistance
  • Provide transport to enable service users to access community and social activities and/or medical and specialist appointments.

Additional information


  • Satisfaction that comes with being able to positively impact the quality of life of the people you are supporting
  • Working with diverse people
  • Working in an industry where empathy is the cornerstone
  • Work/life balance by working shifts that suit you
  • Job variety – no two days are the same
  • Career development – many pathways are available to develop your career


  • Handling difficult behaviours and health issues
  • Physical demands
  • Travelling in all types of conditions
  • Overcoming communication difficulties
  • Handling grief and loss
  • Handling the emotion of friends and family

What qualities are required to become a support worker?

  • empathy
  • stamina
  • resilience
  • flexibility
  • patience
  • good work ethic
  • team player
  • willingness to undergo ongoing training


The information provided on this leaflet is designed to assist you to decide which specialisation in Individual support would be best suited to you, or even if the working in the industry at all would suit you.

We make no claim that this list is definitive or completely accurate for all individuals and organisations and take no responsibility for decisions made based on this information.

Aged and Disability Care Job Interview Questions and Answers

Be well prepared for your Aged and Disability Care job interview by reading the most asked questions below:

Daisy Learning Aged and Disacility Care Job Interview Questions and Answers1. Why do you want a career in support services?

2. Why do you want to work for this organisation?

3. Describe how you have handled a stressful situation in the workplace?

4. You have just seen your roster and have a shift with a person who normally leaves the difficult work to you, what would you do?

5. What would you do if you saw or overheard a client or staff member being bullied?

6. What personal qualities do you have that will make you suited for this position?

7. What do you think is a weak area that you have in relation to your work .

8. What would you do if you found a client on the floor?

9. When would you use full PPE when working as a support worker?

10. How do you see your career progressing over the next few years?

How To Choose A Training Provider -10 Essential Questions

Daisy Learning How To Choose A Training Provider

Our guide on how to choose a training provider will cover the 10 essential questions to ask when inquiring about training with any RTO (Registered Training Organisation).

1.  How much does it cost?

Cost can play a big factor when choosing which RTO is the best fit for you. Check if they offer Government Funding or Incentive opportunities for eligible students or perhaps they may offer a payment plan for payment of student fees to make it easier for you to afford the training investment.

2.  What is their graduation rate?

Check what the RTO’s graduation rate is. How many students pass? How many students (if any) fail? If you are planning to study a course in order to get a job, it is best to check what the radio is of students leaving and then going on to secure employment from their new qualification.

3.  What is the student to training ratio?

Check how many students will be in your class and how many trainers the RTO will be providing you to ensure you capitalise on a well-rounded knowledge of the industry you are training in and required course knowledge to pass successfully.

4.  What is the Course Availability?

Check how many aged care courses run per year and what opportunities are available for full time and/or part time study. Work out what study option suits your needs and speak to the RTO about options available.

5.  Are they a Registered Training Organisation?

There are many ‘colleges’ that are not RTO’s teaching courses that claim to be from the National Training Package. This can be checked by searching for them on the National Training Information Service website.

6.  Is the study completed on campus (face to face), online, or a combination of both?

Choose which study method suits you and your preferred learning style and select the RTO that offers that.  If the training offered is online, make sure there is plenty of support and direct contact with the trainers if needed.

7.  If work placement is required, does the RTO find students their work placement or will the student need to find their own?

Keep in mind that finding work placement can be difficult depending on the industry and/or hours required to be completed to finish your course. We recommend choosing an RTO that finds students work placement as this then allows the student to spend their time learning rather than running around trying to find an employer willing to take them on for work placement.

8.  What is the RTO location? And can I get to class easily? Is public transport available?

Location is most likely a factor for every potential student. Check that the RTO is within an easy distance for you to travel to class. If you rely on public transport, check the bus/train timetables to ensure you will be able to get to class on time and home from class at a suitable hour.

9.  Is First Aid training included in the course?

Having a current First Aid certificate is an essential requirement for working in the care and support industry.  If the RTO doesn’t offer First Aid Training, you will need to find somewhere else to do that training.  You’ll need to make sure the training days don’t conflict with each other.

10.  What are the hidden costs?

The most important question you can ask!  You’ll need to find out whether there is a cost to hire resources and books, whether you will need to pay for parking, if there are printing costs etc.  Take these hidden extra’s into account when determining the total cost of your Course.

How does Daisy Learning answer these questions?

1. Our Course costs vary depending on what course you are wanting to study.  We have multiple Government Funding and Incentive payments and offer tailored payment plans according to your needs.

2. We are dedicated to going above and beyond to meet your learning needs.  The majority of our Students are offered employment during their Vocational Placement or shortly after which makes a really easy transition from training to employment.

3. We have 2 class room based trainers who have extensive experience in the industry.  Our class sizes are kept to a maximum of 14 to allow that personal connection and enhanced learning experience.

4. There are many different course availability options at Daisy Learning.  We have full time training that runs 4 days a week, part time training that runs 1 days a week and online training that is self-paced.

5. We are a Nationally Recognised Training Organisation meaning your Daisy Learning qualification will be recognised all through Australia.

6. Online training and class room based training options are available.  Online students still get a chance to meet with their trainer once every three to four weeks for a Workshop.

7. We will arrange your Vocational Placement with one of the many facilities we work with between Noosa and Caloundra.  All you need to do is confirm your shifts before commencing and enjoy the experience!

8. Located just next door to the Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore, there are many transport options.

9. We include First Aid training in all of our Certificate III courses.  This is done at our usual campus, during normal class times.

10. Daisy Learning is very up front with the costing of your Course.  Our resources are loaned out free of charge and comprehensive list of additional service charges is provided to all students when they enroll.

There you have it, How To Choose A Training Provide in 10 simple steps!

For further information on Daisy Learning, give us a call to see how we can meet your training needs.