Partnership for the future of aged care

La Trobe University and TAFE NSW Riverina Institute are joining forces for a unique project to improve the skills and training of rural aged care workers.

The joint venture will research how best to train aged care workers in meeting the increasingly complex needs of growing numbers of older people living in rural Australia. 

Chair of the John Richards Initiative for Rural Aged Care Research at La Trobe University, Professor Jeni Warburton, said that the cross-border partnership was vital to the success of the project.

‘Aged care training is primarily provided through vocational education agencies such as TAFE,’ Professor Warburton said. ‘In partnering with the Riverina Institute, we’ll be able to study more closely the needs of this important workforce and to examine what training programs work well and what areas can be strengthened.

‘Research is urgently needed to understand what training and workforce development is needed if the community is to respond effectively to the rapidly ageing population,’ Professor Warburton said. ‘This collaborative research project will help answer these questions.’

Director of Community Services, Health and Vocational Access at the Riverina Institute, Anne Lowe, said that the partnership was very important to TAFE NSW.

‘Through this project we will gain valuable feedback about the training that we currently provide and, even more importantly, we’ll receive indications about the training needs of the workforce of the future,’ Ms Lowe said.

‘This kind of information is vital if training providers such as the Riverina Institute are to equip carers with the skills that they need across rural community and residential care settings.’

The project is made possible thanks to an Illawarra Retirement Trust grant.

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