Generational change looms for community business
A SUNSHINE Coast businessman, who has almost 30 years of community services training under his belt, has warned of a "generational change" that will severely shake up the sector.
Andrew Badenoch, managing director of the Community Services Training and Development Centre, said organisations involved in youth work, mental health, aged and disability care needed to get ready.
"We are seeing a generational change in the way services are funded in Australia," he said.
"The National Disability Insurance Scheme is centred on the client, not the organisation, so the whole funding model in aged, home and disability care is changing.
"All of these organisations, and there are thousands of them in Queensland, have their origins in the philanthropic area.
"But then it soon becomes a business because they attract government money and they have to be accountable.
"But they are going to have to have an entirely new funding model to deal with this new service model and that means all the skills and knowledge of their workers needs to change. Otherwise they won't survive. They will become obsolete."
Mr Badenoch's organisation, which began in South Australia in 1994 and expanded into Queensland in 2011, is offering a new course especially for community services leaders.
He has attracted state government funding to develop and deliver a diploma of service coordination to enable leaders to upskill and prepare their organisation for the shift.
He said these people were normally good at their jobs and had been promoted, but did not necessarily have leadership skills to navigate and adapt to these changes.
The diploma would cost $1900 a person, with $2850 subsidised by the Queensland Workforce Council.
Mr Badenoch said while the Sunshine Coast was the initial target for this diploma, interest from Gladstone, Bowen and south Brisbane has prompted the creation of an e-learning platform to capture those regions online.
The centre also plans to roll out Certificate III and IV in Aged Care and Home and Community Care, particularly from June 1 onwards, when Queensland will come online with the nation in delivering the Investing in Skills program.
"Nine percent of the workforce in Australia is in community services," he said.
"We expect 35% growth in that sector on the Sunshine Coast in the next 10 years.
"It will be the largest employer and employment opportunity in the region.
"And with the aged care reforms, the ageing population, the building of the health precinct at Kawana and the NDIS, the growth in training people who care is the best business opportunity you could possibly have."
Mr Badenoch, who estimates he has trained more than 25,000 care workers in 28 years, said his organisation had doubled its turnover every year for the past three years to sit at a figure between $1.5 ad $2 million currently. He has 14 staff and lives in Caloundra.
"My aspiration was to make a contribution to my community," he said of his passion for the industry.
"To make sure the most vulnerable and frail are looked after...that's been the indicator of a civilised society since Roman times."