South Australian RDA Committees support the Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program
The Boosting the Local Care Workforce program (the Program) was announced in the Australian Government 2017-18 Budget and the program’s implementation is underway.
The Program is designed to develop the immediate capacity of disability and aged care service providers to operate effectively and expand their workforces. By supporting the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Program will contribute to the achievement of a vibrant market for disability services and allow people with disability to exercise choice and control over the services they receive and when and where they receive those services.
Six disability workforce hubs operate in South Australia. They are funded by the South Australian Government to connect job seekers with local employers, training providers and employment to help fill local job opportunities in the expanding disability sector. Each workforce hub employs a Coordinator to help identify local workforce needs and opportunities. The Coordinator also coordinates programs, projects and services in partnership with local employers and businesses, employment service providers, training providers and councils across their respective regions.
The first hub based in Northern Adelaide and hosted by Northern Futures commenced in 2016. Following the success of the northern Adelaide pilot five other hubs were funded one in the Southern Adelaide region hosted by Career Partners Plus and the other four located in regional areas were contracted to Regional Development Australia (RDA) Committees and have been operational since 1 July 2017.
- The Murraylands and Riverland hub has shopfronts in Murray Bridge and Berri, and is hosted by RDA Murraylands and Riverland.
- The Yorke and Mid North hub has shopfronts in Clare, Kadina and Port Pirie, and is hosted by RDA Yorke and Mid North.
- The Limestone Coast hub has a shopfront in Mount Gambier, and is hosted by RDA Limestone Coast.
- The Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula hub has shopfronts in Whyalla and Port Lincoln, and is hosted by RDA Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula.
The hub coordinators meet regularly on a state-wide basis, with the four RDA CEOs acting as Chair on a rotating basis.
While still relatively new, the Program is delivering real outcomes to South Australian communities. In September 2018, the Limestone Coast hub facilitated professional development to 60 support workers, disability students, trainers, teachers and student support officers equipping participants to assist children on the Autism spectrum. To date the Hub has supported over 300 people to access information and training to secure a skilled disability workforce in the Limestone Coast.
On 27 October 2018 RDA Eyre and Western will be hosting an Ability Awareness Festival. The free community event will raise awareness and to normalise disability with the support of disability service providers across the region.