The shortage of experienced and qualified Registered and Enrolled Nurses within the aged care sector will only become more pronounced as the population ages.
Many services are being moved into the not for profit sector and changes are being made to the funding of disabilities and community care packages. This is creating a demand for experienced social workers across the board, with children and families services currently at the fore of this trend.
The redistribution of funding and services, merging of smaller not for profit organisations and the winding down of FACS and Medicare services, is causing a glut of candidates on the market. This is also leading to an increase of contract roles as funding transfers from one organisation to another.
In Western Australia, we are seeing a greater number of applicants looking for mental health roles such as Case Managers, Social Workers, Psychologists and Councellors. One of the main reasons for this is the increase in redundancies across not for profit sector due to the loss of government grants on 31st December 2014.
The other reason is the increasing number of new graduates and overseas professionals who are actively seeking permanent work in this area. Aged care is another industry that is booming in the state and we are seeing a significant increase in the need for Facility Managers in both metro and regional WA. There is also a shortage of Enrolled Nurses and professionals who can provide renal and dialysis care.
In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a high demand for Registered Nurses that have management experience in the aged care sector due to the chronic shortage of candidates in this area. Remote clinics, not-for-profit organisations and private hospitals are looking for experienced AHPRA registered nurses.
Also, the increase in the number of residential and home care services has led to more demand for Enrolled Nurses.
Within Allied Health there is demand in rural areas for Podiatrists and Physiotherapists. There is a shortage of suitable candidates and most jobs tend to be for associates who earn a fee share rather than a salary.
Experienced Social Workers with case management experience are needed as more programmes move to a case management model.
Facility/Services Managers are also highly sought. Aged care Managers need to be qualified registered Nurses with APRAH accreditation. Due to the shortage of candidates these roles can be challenging to fill.
In terms of candidate trends, people are becoming more aware of the changing salaries in the healthcare sector as more and more organisations are no longer paying above the award rate. However this has not affected demand for candidates with particular skill sets in areas such as aged care.