Aged Care Migrant Workers to be Offered Labour Agreement in Exchange for PR Pathway

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The Aged Care industry is making big plans for migrants in Australia after the government announced that it will promote increased recruitment and retention in the aged care workforce.

The new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement will promote increased recruitment and retention in the aged care sector benefitting migrants working in it. The agreement will be available to employers that have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant industry union. 

The government will fund a 15 per cent pay rise for all workers in the sector after the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which started in 2018.

The commission stated in its recommendations that the industry needed to address problems in aged care by: “promoting the development and retention of a highly motivated and appropriately skilled and numerous workforce necessary for the provision of high quality and safe aged care services.”

The labour agreement gives workers access to a two-year pathway to permanent residency and it is negotiated directly between unions and employers. The average salary of an aged care worker in Australia is A$33 per hour, according to Indeed, but some estimates place the  average annual salary at more than A$65,000.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles is hopeful about the impact that the changes will have on the availability of aged care workers in Australia.

“This is a new approach, founded in a tripartite process. Australia can both address workforce shortages for crucial jobs in our society while also protecting workers and promoting good jobs,” he said.

Reports by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found that a facility in Broken Hill failed to meet all eight standards by which a nursing home is judged to provide safe and responsible care.

Occupations in the aged care sector are listed as being affected by workforce shortages and the government is responding to increased care minutes and compliance requirements for additional staff.

According to labour market reports, there are many industries that are still experiencing massive labour shortages, programmers and nurses were identified as high demand occupations, especially in regional areas.