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TWC Care Worker Shortage

5 Reasons Why There’s a Skills Shortage for Care Workers


Australia is currently facing a care worker crisis. As a trusted referrer that works between clients who need trustworthy carers and the care industry, we’ve felt how the current skills shortage has led to many of our current clients coming to TWC in the first place. According to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Australia is facing a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged-care workers within the next decade unless urgent action is taken to boost the workforce. Another study pushes the estimate even further, saying that we face a 200,000 full-time care worker shortfall by 2050.

It’s more difficult than ever to find a trusted care worker.

So why is it so hard to find a trusted care worker?

Here at Direct Consulting Services, we’ve seen, analysed, and worked alongside care workers for decades, and here are our top five reasons why our care industry has a skill shortage.

1. Low Pay

Comparing average wages with other costs (like rent and childcare), a 2022 report from the Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) found that care workers ended up having around $34 dollars of disposable income every week. That’s basically nothing, and just not enough to cover basic expenses. Having such a low income makes it really difficult to attract and retain skilled workers, even if they’re passionate about their job, and many carers often decide to leave their career because practically, other industries offer better pay and benefits.

2. Lack of Training Opportunities

The care industry often requires workers to have specific skills and qualifications, but training opportunities can be limited or not easily accessible for many people. This is especially true for people who don’t speak English as their first language, as it can be hard to know where to start with Certifications and get further training.

3. Demographic changes

As our population ages, we’re expecting that demand for care workers will double within a generation. The 2021 Care Workforce Labour Market Report predicts that we’ll need to grow our workforce by at least 531,600 to meet our 2050 demands… which outpacing the forecast of 320,200 full time workers we’ll have in that year. We are already feeling the shortage of skilled workers now, especially with care work having a reputation of being a ‘last resort’ career. Not many young people are interested in entering and pursuing a career in the care industry, which doesn’t help the skills shortage.

4. High Turnover Rates

Being a carer can be emotionally draining, as carer workers try to put forward their best all day, every day, supporting their clients physically, mentally and socially. It’s both mentally and physically challenging. That often leads to high turnover rates within care organisations, as workers leave the industry because of burnout.

5. Limited Career Progression Opportunities

Even though there are career pathways and ways to progress in a carer role, many people think that being a carer is a dead end job. This makes a lot of people not choose to be a care worker even if the job interests them, and choose other industries instead with a clear career ladder to climb.

Working Together to Achieve the Futures We Want 

Addressing these issues will be the key to ensuring that we have the carers we need to support our aging population as time passes, as more and more people need just a little more help to live their best, independent lives. Direct Consulting Services works together with carers, providers, and clients to ensure that all needs are met for all parties (carers included) to ensure that working relationships can be fruitful for as long as possible.

Click here to learn more about how Direct Consulting Services is working to solve these issues and get everyone the future they want.

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