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The aged care sector has experienced the impacts of significant changes in recent years. These changes range from the ageing of the Australian population and the corresponding ageing of the workforce, the increased use of technology in service delivery, the increased complexity of health needs of individuals entering aged care, and the shift in policy approaches to aged care, with much service delivery now occurring at home to allow people to 'age in place' for longer rather than enter institutions at the first sign of age-related frailty. All of these developments are placing significant pressure on the aged care workforce.
The focus of this inquiry has been to ensure scrutiny is also placed on the aged care service sector, which, like the disability service sector, is responsible for the direct care of vulnerable Australians. This inquiry was undertaken to review the current frameworks under which aged care providers recruit, train and retain their workforce, and to anticipate the impact of current and expected changes to the aged care service sector, and the workforce which will be needed to deliver those services in the years to come.