New care sector short course is FREE IN '23

  • Fee free Community Support Skill Set to upskill workers for the priority care sector
  • Skill set added to FREE IN '23 initiative providing fee free training for more than 100 full qualifications and skill sets from 1 January 2023
  • Responds to State Training Board recommendations to build sector's future workforce

Workers in Western Australia's rapidly expanding social assistance and allied health sector will soon be able to boost their skills with free training, thanks to a new program developed by the McGowan Government.

The Community Support Skill Set is for new and existing workers wanting to gain knowledge and skills to provide care and wellbeing support to individuals in a community setting. It is completely free for Western Australians.

Developed with industry support through Community Skills WA (CSWA), the skill set is the newest addition to the FREE IN '23 initiative announced last month as part of a landmark 12-month skills agreement between the Australian and WA Governments.

The initiative aims to address the current skills shortage by delivering 18,800 more fee free TAFE and vocational education places for Western Australians in 2023.

The addition of the Community Support Skill Set brings the number of priority qualifications made "FREE IN '23" to 58 full TAFE qualifications and 57 skill sets.

The Community Support Skill Set is part of the McGowan Government's blueprint to address the growing demand for skilled workers in the sector, following recommendations from the State Training Board's extensive consultation in conjunction with CSWA.

Released in May 2022, the Board's Social Assistance and Allied Health: Future Workforce Skills report recommended collaboration to develop new skill sets to meet industry needs.

This report builds on the actions implemented in response to the State Training Board's Social Assistance and Allied Health Workforce Strategy released in 2019 to boost the social assistance and allied health workforce and assist skill development in the sector.

The State Government, through the State Training Board and its industry consultation as part of the WA Skills Summits, has been proactive in identifying this emerging issue early and preparing the sector for future growth.

Those who complete the new Community Support Skill Set receive a credit towards a Certificate III in Individual Support, a qualification established to train aged, disability and home and community care workers.

The new skill set will provide career and training pathways into roles in Aboriginal health and wellbeing, increase youth engagement and localised employment, and broaden the skills of the sector's existing workforce to serve a wider range of community health and wellbeing needs.

The skill set was developed with consultation and support from Activ Foundation Inc, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, Empowering People in Communities Inc, Kimberley Associated Medical Services Ltd, National Disability Services, and Southern Cross Care.

For more information, visit or contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre on 13 64 64.

As stated by Training Minister Simone McGurk:

"A strong and sustainable aged and disability care workforce is essential for supporting Western Australian families now and well into the future.

"The new Community Support Skill Set has been developed with industry to meet the care sector's training needs, and will be completely free for Western Australians.

"Skill sets provide short, sharp training that enables participants to upskill or reskill for work in sectors experiencing high demand.

"By offering free training we hope to remove cost as a barrier to entry and attract new workers to this crucial industry, which is key to the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities."

As stated by Disability Services and Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch:

"Our aged and disability care workers perform critical roles in the community and this training is an invaluable opportunity to upskill, making a real difference to the lives of Western Australians.

"New and existing staff in the aged and disability care workforce will now have the opportunity to access free training, providing an important stepping stone to future qualifications."

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