John Barilaro announces plan to build aged-care facilities on TAFE campuses to meet growing demand

Aged-care announcement: Assistant Skills Minister Adam Marshall, aged-care student Peter Thorley and Deputy Premier John Barilaro at Queanbeyan TAFE. Photo: Andrew Brown
Aged-care announcement: Assistant Skills Minister Adam Marshall, aged-care student Peter Thorley and Deputy Premier John Barilaro at Queanbeyan TAFE. Photo: Andrew Brown

Aged-care providers could soon be building more facilities on TAFE campuses as part of a plan to meet the state’s aging population.

Deputy Premier and Monaro MP John Barilaro announced the plan at Queanbeyan TAFE on Monday, calling for expressions of interests from providers.

The Australian-first trial would also combine with on-the-job training for aged-students at TAFE campuses.

“There’s about 150 sites across NSW in metro and regional areas where we believe a partnership with the [aged-care] industry can build more senior living,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We can then use the TAFE expertise to train the workforce. Aged-care is a big sector across Australia as we embark on an aging population.”

It’s estimated more than 200,000 additional jobs are needed in the aged-care sector in coming years.

Providers have until April 19 to launch expressions of interests for the proposal.

While Queanbeyan TAFE has not be confirmed as a definite for future aged-care facilities, Mr Barilaro said the campus would be well placed for facilities.

“Aged care is an issue in the city and we have had to rely heavily on the ACT over the border but we forget about our own backyard,” he said.

“As the local member, I’ll be championing the site to be considered, but we’ll have to look at the EOI process.”

Assistant Skills Minister Adam Marshall said the scheme will allow for greater training for aged-care students.

“The idea is for an aged-care facility on a TAFE site is to provide for the future workforce,” he said.

“This partnership will ensure industry plays a key role in the education and training of our future skilled workforce to meet the needs of Australia’s ageing population.”

News of the announcement comes as health enrolments at NSW TAFE campuses has grown by 48 per cent in the last four years, with a 15 per cent increase in community services.

Queanbeyan TAFE aged-care student Peter Thorley is six weeks into a 36 week course, and said he is looking to get involved in social support.

“There are lots of areas in aged care that aren’t just nursing,” he said.

“Social support would be things like taking a patient in the car to do the shopping or just interacting with the patient.”