Topic: Aged Care Assistant Employment Program

Day: Monday 12 October 2020

Time: 2:10pm-2:30pm AESDT

Abstract:

In March 2020, Altura Learning and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), were approached by members of the aged services industry to devise a new role to support the workforce during COVID-19. In March 2020, Altura Learning and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), were approached by members of the aged services industry to devise a new role to support the workforce during COVID-19. 
Following extensive industry consultation, the Aged Care Assistant Employment Program was devised. This role was designed to support existing care workers in aged care by freeing them up from duties that staff without a Certificate III could perform, such as supporting in mealtimes, laundry duties, bed making, recreational activities and some administration duties. This allows care workers to focus on providing care.
Altura Learning and LASA wanted to create an employment solution that was as seamless as possible for the industry, so they joined with DASH Group to provide a total service solution.
Aged care assistants (ACA) are recruited and screened by DASH Group for suitability in working in aged care. They complete a two day 21 module online training program through Altura Learning which covers all the mandatory type subjects that would normally be covered in orientation to prepare them to work in the industry. In addition, the ACAs complete training to prepare them for the role such as dignity and personalised care, dementia overview and communicating with aged care residents. DASH Group then places them in aged care organisations and monitors their progress. They also ensure that the structured onboarding training and assessment program that has been designed by Altura Learning is completed in the workplace to establish that the ACA is able to work safely and within their role.
DASH Group have recruited and placed 165 ACAs into 14 facilities. The program has also been endorsed by the Commonwealth Department of Health and is being offered to displaced QANTAS and Virgin Airline workers as a pathway to aged care.
It was always hoped that the program could lead to long term employment options for participants, however we’ve been overwhelmed that 60% of ACAs have indicated that they would like to enrol in a Cert III in Aged Care. The program has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Feedback back on the training includes:• “Thoroughly enjoyed the learning process. Was very easy to navigate through the learning process”• “Incredibly well done, videos are fantastic!! I feel so inspired to work in Aged Care, thank you” • “I’ve done many courses online before and using the video format is much more effective and easier to understand rather than just using slides”.ACA Participant feedback:• “The role has provided me with an amazing opportunity to gain experience in aged care and has now set me on a track to further study and a new career”• “I was a QANTAS employee for 30 years and wasn’t sure what to do next. The program has given me the chance to start a new career and give me direction during such an uncertain time for me”• “Everyday I go home feeling like I have truly made a difference to the resident’s lives. I had not felt job satisfaction like this in years” Facility Manager feedback:• “The ACAs provided have been wonderful, they have got us through some of the most difficult times for the facility”• “The residents loved the ACA’s and we saw real improvement in our resident’s moods since they had arrived”• “The ACAs were supplied to us very quickly and met our needs perfectly, DASH Group wanted to really know us and provided ACA’s that fit our culture”

Biography:

Nicola Burton is the Learning and Development Manager at Altura Learning since 2015. She is passionate about empowering staff to deliver the best possible care and services to older people. Nicola is also a registered nurse with a background in acute and aged care and has been in a Learning and Development role in the aged care sector since 2003.