A Fiji aged care pilot was launched today by the Australian Government to increase qualified Fijian aged care workers under the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
The first batch of 40 participants, including 36 women, will be undertaking a 12-week course at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) in Suva, followed by 10-week supervised work placements in Australia with a PALM scheme employer.
After completing the training, they will earn an Australian Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community) (CHC33015), which will enable them to continue working for the same employer for up to four years under the PALM scheme.
The pilot is supported by interested aged care employers and the National Employment Centre (NEC) in Fiji.
Participants for the pilot program are graduates from APTC’s national partner institutions and local training providers, including the Fiji National University (FNU), The University of the South Pacific (USP), Makoi Women’s Vocational Training Centre, Then India Sanmarga Ikya (TISI) Sangam College of Nursing and Health Care Education, Onkar Caregivers Training Institute, Caregivers International Fiji Ltd, and Australia Nursing and Training Services.
“In her visit to Fiji last week, Foreign Minister Wong was clear about Australia’s intentions to expand and improve Australia’s labour mobility programs,” said Australian High Commissioner John Feakes.
“This aged care pilot will open up new opportunities for Fijians, particularly women, to find employment in Australia, learn new skills and support their families,” he continued.
APTC Executive Director, Janelle Chapman, said APTC is proud to work with the Pacific Labour Facility to deliver the program to help grow the demand for Pacific workers, including Fijians in aged care.
“To support learning outcomes, we will provide participants access to our simulated aged care training facility set-up to meet the Australian qualification industry standards for the delivery of the practical components of the training,” she added.
APTC is Australia’s flagship technical and vocational education and training (TVET) investment in the region. It has trained more than 17,000 Pacific citizens, including over 5,000 Fijians for a range of vocational careers.
The participants are expected to complete their training with APTC in November 2022.
In the future, the Australian Government hopes to expand the program and deliver similar aged care training across the region.
The PALM scheme helps Australian businesses address workforce shortages and support the economic growth of Pacific Island Countries and Timor-Leste. To learn more, visit: the PALM scheme.