The Aged Care Toowoomba Skills Formation Strategy (SFS) provided a unique opportunity for the sector within the Toowoomba region to collaborate towards local solutions that would facilitate effective business planning and development into the future.
At the time of funding, the aged care sector is an expanding part of Health and Community Services which is the fourth largest industry division in Queensland, and the largest employer in the Toowoomba region. The general ageing and increasing lifespan of the Australian population are the key drivers behind the current and projected growth in demand for services that support frail older people and their carers.
The aged care sector in the Toowoomba region in 2008 was represented by 29 employer organisations (including the Toowoomba Regional Council). The residential care facilities accommodate and care for over 1500 residents.
Stakeholders involved in the Skills Formation Strategy worked towards building a sustainable co-operative business planning approach in the Toowoomba Region's aged care sector by March 2012, so that the care needs of its ageing population are supported by a high quality, valued workforce.
As a part of the strategy, an Aged & Community Care Toowoomba website has been established which aims to provide information about careers in aged care, as well as information about aged care services and activities that are occurring through the work of the Industry Leaders Group.
Funding to support the industry in developing the SFS ceased in March 2012 after providing a part-time project officer for four years. Other outcomes from the strategy are outlined in the final report. Work between stakeholders is continuing in the sector to work collectively.