Collaborative pre-employment programs to address skills shortage in regional towns

A pre-employment program aimed at addressing the skills shortage in the aged care sector is proving to be a success in a regional South Australian town.

Like most areas of Australia, Berri was suffering from a shortage of workers, and with a lack of local on the ground training courses available, the solution wasn’t clear.

At the same time local Workforce Australia provider IntoJobs (part of the IntoWork Group) was looking for a way to increase the skills and employment opportunities for its participants.

Working with specialist training organisation iTFE (also part of the IntoWork Group) the two organisations developed an innovative Aged Care Pre-Employment Program for Jobseekers in the area.

The program content was developed based on current qualifications and seamlessly integrates both accredited and non-accredited modules. It also engaged local employers to provide real life insights and information, and local apprenticeship providers to give information on traineeships in the sector.

Marnie Stevens, Community Faculty Services Lead for iTFE, travelled to Berri to deliver the Aged Care program, “The program meets the requirements of Workforce Australia for the Cohort. It’s designed to get the person job ready and provide information about the roles, opportunities, study options and career pathways to help instil some passion about working in the sector,” she said.

Marnie considers the Workforce Australia cohort an untapped resource for employers in the aged care and disability support sectors that are facing staff shortages. While fully qualified candidates are still highly valued, there’s a growing demand for entry-level candidates with some training and an understanding of the job. s

“Employers are finding that their traditional recruiting methods are not working. Now we’ve got different cohorts that we’re tapping into and training up that perhaps industry never thought about engaging with before. These programs are kind of a win-win for everybody.”

During the program representatives from Riverview Rest Home and Group Training Apprenticeship Careers Australia (ACA) came along to share information about the industry and conduct mock interviews for participants.

IntoJobs Regional Leader Kristy Johinke said, “Marnie and the iTFE team made every step of the program very simple for our team and the participants, from enrolment right through to the employer meetings and interviews. Witnessing the transformation of our participants and seeing them thrive over the six days of the program was incredibly rewarding.”

Upon completion of the program, ACA recommended three participants as trainee candidates for a local employer, while the remaining three updated their resumes. Additionally, one individual received a new wardrobe from IntoJobs, equipping them to pursue entry-level positions in home care.

Thanks to the program’s success, iTFE is now delivering the full Certificate 111 in Individual Support (Ageing) at the Berri IntoJobs office, with four of the original participants enrolled in the course.

iTFE will continue to work with IntoJobs and other providers in regions across Australia to develop and deliver locally relevant programs in various sectors.

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