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Universities stand ready to work with aged care providers to expand university student placements and deliver the skilled workforce needed to support Australia’s rapidly aging population.

It is predicted 3.5 million Australians will access aged care services every year by 2050.

Expanding education and training placements across the aged care industry is one of several major recommendations made in a new strategy released yesterday, A Matter of Care.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said Australia’s world-class universities had the talent needed to fill these placements.

“We are pleased to see the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce has heard our calls for more placements,” Ms Jackson said.

“Australian universities educate more than 100,000 health professionals each year,” she said.

“This covers vital services such as nursing, allied health, medicine and pharmacy – on which Australia’s aging population will increasingly rely.”

“But we also know that if you provide these students with education and training placements, it helps the industry to develop a highly skilled workforce and aids recruitment and retention.”

“And it prepares students entering the health professions to work with elderly people in a range of settings, including in their home, in health centres as well as in aged care facilities.”

“Aged care placements are a clear win for everyone.”

Another key recommendation in the strategy was to establish a new research centre that would apply aged care research breakthroughs directly into service delivery.

“Australian universities are constantly unlocking discoveries that will fundamentally improve the quality of life for our aging population,” Ms Jackson said.

“This includes work that will help delay the onset of dementia,” she said.

“But research also informs best-practice care for people who already have dementia.”

“Research is vital to improve the quality of life and care for people with this and other conditions.”

A Matter of Care was delivered by the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, chaired by Professor John Pollaers and released by Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt MP.

Ms Jackson thanked both the taskforce and Minister Wyatt and commended them on the strategy.

Universities Australia Media Contacts

Misha Schubert
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Mobile: 0421 612 351

Bella Counihan
Ph: 02 6285 8123
Mobile: 0419 212 219 
James Giggacher
Ph: 02 6285 8118
Mobile: 0413 665 143

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