Perhaps there is no more fitting place to be upskilling, refreshing and capacity-building in the Home Care Workforce than at the home of the Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine. The place that reputably changed the course of the nation’s working history.
This week, a group of enthusiastic locals learnt new skills, brushed up on old ones to foster a renewed outlook on their work. Three days were spent placing an added value on the work of aged care, elevating skill levels and instilling pride in the valuable role that enables Older Queenslanders to age in place.
Skills in personal care, infection control, dementia care, manual handling, and medication assist were all covered in a hands-on learning environment.
As the consortium of Council on the Ageing Queensland, SkillsHubs and Skills Generation deliver the Federally funded Home Care Workforce Support Program (HCWSP) across the State, linking to training opportunities and building capacity and depth in the workforce have been key aspects, alongside attracting 2,272 new personal care workers to the sector.
Following some regional engagement alongside COTA Queensland earlier this year, a skilling opportunity was identified by Barcaldine Regional Council. Fast forward a few months and the Shire Hall and Barcaldine Aged Care meeting room have been busy with skills sharing and connecting to create a stronger home care workforce in the region. Training attendees service clients across Barcaldine, Ilfracombe, Alpha, Aramac, Longreach, Muttaburra and Jericho.
Central to the Queensland HCWSP is the instilling of Person Centred Care. Through the regional and remote skilling opportunities, the training involves attendees putting themselves in the shoes of clients. The level of empathy and understanding that is reinforced through this is experience has a lasting impact on practice.
Attendees expressed how beneficial it was to have face-to-face and hands on learning for their roles which are person-centred and human-based and taking the time to focus on best practice enabled a renewed outlook on the important work of caring for Older Queenslanders.
The rural and remote skilling opportunities demonstrates the reach of the Home Care Workforce Support Program, delivering across all regions of Queensland.