Aged care facilities welcome Samoan workforce
Australian Regional and Remote Community Services (ARRCS) is welcoming 33 new workers from Samoa to help ease the critical workforce shortage in the Northern Territory’s health and aged care sector.
The 26 personal care workers and seven cooks from Samoa arrived on a chartered flight on Sunday 19 September and will spend the next 14 days in quarantine in Darwin at the Howard Springs Quarantine Centre.
After extensive recruitment over the last twelve months identified that local applicants were unable to fill current vacancies, ARRCS partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Pacific Australian Labour Mobility Scheme.
On 4 October, the Samoan team will commence a four-week Intensive Immersion program in Alice Springs. In partnership with Fox Education, this induction into ARRCS will help workers align their knowledge with the Australian Aged Care Quality Standards and provide mentorship through the current Registered Nurses and experienced Carers.
ARRCS General Manager Wendy Hubbard said the visa program requirements will ensure workers are committed to ARRCS over three years, providing stable and familiar care to our aged care residents.
“We are looking forward to warmly welcoming our new staff to five facilities across the Northern Territory,” said Ms Hubbard.
“It’s vital we have this extra support across our residential aged care facilities to enable us to provide a continuity of care for our residents.”
Ms Hubbard said the bolstered workforce will also mean that current workers will have the opportunity to take much-needed leave and reduce fatigue from overtime.
“Our workers are doing incredible work, often under challenging circumstances across regional and remote areas of the Northern Territory,” said Ms Hubbard.
“The new workers will enable us to continue to provide quality care to communities that need our support.”
Personal Care Workers will be employed across five facilities including 12 people at Old Timers Aged Care Facility in Alice Springs, eight at Hetti Perkins Home for the Aged in Alice Springs, two at Pulkapulkka Kari Aged Care in Tennant Creek, two at ARRCS Katherine Hostel and two at Rocky Ridge Nursing Home in Katherine.
Additionally, three facilities will receive cooks. These include two at Old Timers Aged Care Facility, three at Hetti Perkins and two at Pulkapulkka Kari Aged Care.
Before entering Australia, the workers must have tested negative to COVID-19 for 14 days, as well as completed a full medical clearance, including being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.