Tackling the Workforce Shortage

One of the greatest challenges facing the aged care sector, alongside many other industries in Australia is the shortage of a skilled workforce. CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia has released research on the aged care sector showing the sector is likely losing around 65,000 workers each year. 

On top of this, the sector already has approximately a 35,000-worker shortfall each year. These overwhelming statistics and the impacts of policy, economic and environmental changes, notably the COVID-19 pandemic, show how critically important it is to address the current skill shortage in the sector.

Rachel Argaman OAM is the CEO of Opal HealthCare, where building personal relationships with their residents and families is at the heart of their model of care. In her podcast episode, ‘The aged care workforce: insights from an aged care CEO’ recorded as part of the Governing for Reform in Aged Care program, Rachel states that Opal really believes that companies don’t succeed, people do. Opal invests significantly in their employees and understands that caring about them and their future enables them.

So, what are some suggestions to attract and retain staff in the aged care sector amidst staff shortages?

  1. Focus on your employee value proposition (EVP).  An EVP is what employees get for working at your company. A strong EVP will help you stand out from competitors and attract top talent. Further to this, a strong EVP will improve organisational reputation and reduce employee turnover.
  2. Invest in innovation. Rachel Argaman talks about the importance of an investment in innovation and how a particular initiative they have implemented continues to give back.
  3. Invest in staff development and career pathways. Opal HealthCare has a great initiative called Opal HealthCare Academy which creates opportunities for their staff to grow, lead others and lead change.

Listen to Rachel’s podcast on the Governing for Reform in Aged Care Learning Platform to learn more about Opal HealthCare, to gain further insights into the aged care workforce and to better understand how governing body members and executives can assist in planning for and overcoming challenges with attraction and retention.

Listen here: AUDIO COURSE (

The Governing for Reform Program is designed to support governing body members and executives across four key capability areas, including keeping older Australians at the centre of care, leadership and culture, obligations and accountabilities, and skills and experience.

The program is free for all eligible participants.