CCA proposes support programs for ACE aged care trainers, students and workers

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has proposed two important initiatives to support training and development in Australia’s hard-pressed aged care workforce sector.

In CCA’s presentation at the Commonwealth Home Support Conference online on 24 November, CEO Dr Don Perlgut and Policy Manager Evelyn Goodwin noted that Australian adult and community education (ACE) providers:

  • Constitute an important part of the nation’s aged care training infrastructure, training 23% of NSW, 19% of VIC (and 13% nationally) of government-funded VET aged care students, a total of 8,435 students in these qualifications in 2019 (NCVER 2020).
  • Specialise in delivering the Certificate III Individual Support, the most popular training package for ACE provider students nationally, with more than one-third of them enrolled, including almost every CCA member.
  • Over-perform in engaging vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and individuals in education and training programs – an essential outreach function to sustain the desperately needed expansion of Australia’s aged care workforce.

Aged Care Trainer Shortage

The CCA presentation (download a copy of the slides in PDF here) noted the critical shortage of skilled aged care trainers, which is especially acute in many regional and rural areas; existing workers are often reluctant to move into the training; the TAE Certificate IV qualification is often seen as an obstacle; and the negative press around the quality of care & qualifications of staff compounds challenges.

In response, CCA proposes an ACE TAE scholarship program for aged care trainers, combined with a complementary mentoring support program that pairs potential trainers with experienced VET and/or industry professionals, to assist new trainers to engage with VET.

Language Literacy Numeracy and Digital Literacy Needs

CCA also notes high Language Literacy Numeracy (LLN) & Digital Literacy (DL) concerns in both the prospective and existing aged care workforce, the limited funding available, and that literacy for Certificate III Individual Support presents a barrier to new students from both CALD background and many native English speakers.

In response, CCA proposes a special contextualised LLN & DL program for aged care workers and students/trainees. ACE providers will work with service providers to implement embedded LLN support specific to CALD and native English speaker learners.


Both CCA proposals arose from extensive discussions leading up to and during the CCA National ACE Summit in June 2021, and will be examined further at CCA’s national conference in Sydney on 5 & 6 April 2022, which has the theme of Rebuilding Community.

CCA Aged Care Workforce Training Commentary and Events


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