The Community services and health industry is all about ensuring people have access to the best care services and enjoy the highest quality of life possible.  The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) annual industry report 2013, identified that care services which includes aged care, mental health, children’ services, disability care and Indigenous services face significant challenges due to industry demands for growth. Modest predictions are an increase of 1.6 million workers (35 per cent rise) by 2025.

Workers and managers within the industry need to develop new skills to adapt to client-led care models.

We have changed the way services are delivered from paternalistic to a person centred framework moving away from the professional knows best approach.  Placing the client in the driver’s seat is not a new idea but is one that has been robustly adopted across all areas of community services. Jo Bronwyn (Seeds)

The report found that an overwhelming proportion of the care services workforce will need to be VET-qualified. The consumer-focused workforce will be made up of an increased number of home and community, disability care, mental health, pastoral care, social housing and youth workers, as well as enrolled nurses, allied health and dental assistants and community development managers.

Critical skills needed for a consumer-directed future will include financial management, service coordination and goal-based planning. Future workforce challenges will require the development of new training pathways, transferable skills across aligned sectors such as mental health, aged care and disability and a renewed focus on quality for new training programs.

The more skilled and trained a workforce is, the more capable it will be in delivering quality care services.