NT training centre to support aged care workforce opens

The Territory Government and Charles Darwin University (CDU) are boosting training for new aged care workers with a new Training Centre for Aged Care at CDU’s Casuarina campus.


Minister for Jobs and Training Paul Kirby, Minister for Education and Seniors Lauren Moss, and CDU Vice-Chancellor Scott Bowman AO today officially opened the new $1.7 million centre to strengthen aged care workforce skills across the sector.


The centre, which opens for students from semester one 2022, will deliver a unique training environment with room for four aged care beds and equipment that will mimic an aged care facility to aid student learning for up to 24 students at a time.


The centre, which will be used for Vocational Education and Training (VET) and higher education programs and research at the university, features a pan room, kitchen and general-purpose teaching area as well as showers designed for people with disabilities.


The demand for workers in the aged care sector in the Northern Territory is driven by an aging workforce, with Territorians aged 65 plus expected to increase 242 per cent by 2041. Aboriginal Territorians make up 39 per cent of aged care clients.


The centre is in line with recommendations from the final report from The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which recommended ongoing development of workforce capacity through requirements for training and professional development.


There are 1500 aged care workers in the Northern Territory, the majority of them female, with skill shortages exacerbated by staff turnover of 30 to 40 per cent.


Charles Darwin University Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman AO said the centre will provide training to help our students be better equipped as they enter the workforce, so that they can provide better support to staff and the residents they work with in aged care settings.


“We know that support, training and development are essential for the future workforce to ensure safe, high quality aged care is delivered for Territorians,” Professor Bowman said.


Minister for Jobs and Training Paul Kirby said, “Training in aged care can unlock a very rewarding career path and with the Territory and Australia’s population getting older, aged care is one of the few industries where job security and new opportunities are almost guaranteed for decades to come.”


11 March 2022.