Media Release

1 May 2018


Vic Budget recognises social services as workforce of the future

The Victorian Government has recognised social services as a workforce of the future with its promise of free TAFE training for Victorians in 30 priority courses, the Future Social Service Institute says.

The training promise takes in courses including community services, disability, mental health, personal care and ageing.

“This is a fantastic initiative that recognises health and community services as key to Victoria’s future and jobs growth,” Future Social Service Institute Director David Hayward said.

“Health and community services are the country’s fastest growing workforce, needing thousands more trained, skilled, qualified workers.

“This budget training promise sends a signal to every young person looking to enter the workforce, and those looking to change careers, that social services offer a meaningful, productive, rewarding pathway.”

There is currently unprecedented demand for social service workers.

Department of Employment projections show 1 in 4 new jobs across Australia to 2022 will be in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector – making up 2.5 million out of the 9.5 million overall additional workers required.

More than 1 million additional workers are needed to support the rollout of the NDIS alone, and in some regional areas the disability workforce will need to more than double to meet demand in the next few years.

Examples include Victoria’s outer Gippsland region, where NDIS modelling suggests the disability workforce will need to increase by up to 216% by mid-2019, an increase of more than 1,200 employees.

The Future Social Service Institute has been leading the way in recognising this need, advocating for greater government recognition and investment in the social service sector as the workforce of the future.

Since 2017 it has been providing full tuition scholarships for Certificate III in Individual Support and Certificate IV in Disability courses at RMIT.

These courses also take a new approach. They include co-designed course content incorporating input from people who receive care services and the social service industry that provides them, to improve the quality of training and students’ ability to meet people’s real needs when they enter the workforce.

Feedback from students has been that this is what they have found most valuable about the courses, with some describing the content as life-changing and inspiring.

“The Future Social Service Institute has been advocating for governments to invest in training for the social service workforce, to meet the urgent and rapidly growing demand for skilled workers,” Prof Hayward said.

“We are pleased to see the Victorian Government heeding this call today in its Budget and recognising the social service sector as a vital contributor to Victoria’s future growth and prosperity.”

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Future Social Service Institute Director David Hayward, please contact Kellee Nolan on 0402 720 177.