VIC Disability Workforce Information & Resources
NDS Victoria is committed to raising the profile of disability workforce issues and supporting members to more effectively manage, attract and retain sufficient and appropriately skilled workers.
We have an active Workforce Planning Advisory Group and periodic workforce forums. Many other organisations and government bodies are also undertaking activities on workforce related issues. Topics covered on this webpage include:
- NDS 2011 Victoria Workforce Strategy
- Disability Workforce Database Project 2010
- NDS Workforce Conference 2009
- Workforce Strategies & Policies
- Workforce Capability Tools
- Recruitment Resources
- Development Networks and Collaborative Arrangements
- Bullying at work
- Managing an Ageing Workforce
- Allied Health Staff
In 2011 NDS Victoria developed a Workforce Strategy (PDF 840KB, RTF 365KB) as part of the development of a Transition Plan to prepare disability services for a National Disability Insurance Scheme. A Discussion Paper (PDF 458KB, RTF 176KB) was developed in September 2011 to inform this work. A December 2011 presentation (PPT 2.51MB, RTF 79KB) provides an overview of the Workforce Strategy.
The Strategy identifies goals, strategies and initiatives to prepare the disability sector to address workforce issues in relation to each of 6 objectives:
- People in specialist and mainstream disability services understand and embrace self-directed service and support
- Policy, funding and regulatory environments reinforce and facilitate a nimble and responsive workforce
- Workforce planning at sector, local and organisational levels is supported by current and timely information
- Disability jobs attract and retain sufficient people with the required skills
- People engaged in service delivery have the skills, knowledge and attributes they need.
- Capable leaders and managers drive the transformation of the disability sector
The following initiatives are identified as priorities:
- Facilitate services to collaborate in providing stable, full time jobs while maintaining client choice.
- Review the disability support worker (DSW) role:
- update DSW role description and skills in the context of self-directed approaches
- distinguish general support from more specialised skill levels within the role
- map career development structures and pathways both within the sector and into related roles and sectors
- identify implications for service pricing models, industrial provisions and competency standards and skill sets within the CSHISC training package
- Identify and apply tailored solutions to address workforce retention.
- Investigate and promote innovation in structuring services, training, work packages and job design.
- Explore options to more effectively utilise the available workforce.
- Facilitate and resource regional networks to explore disability workforce issues and disseminate leading edge practice.
- Review and extend existing training to prepare board members to transition to the new market environment.
- Adapt and roll out the Carecareers initiative in Victoria to raise awareness about work opportunities in disability.
- Scope options to provide a funding stream to sustain and increase investment in skills development for both the paid and informal workforce (requires national coordination with input from Victoria)
In 2009/10 NDS conducted a major project identifying and analysing data on the Victorian non government disability workforce. A Public Report (PDF 2.28MB, RTF 1.55MB) and executive summaries of the Workforce Capacity Review (PDF 110KB, RTF 57KB) and Employee Review (PDF 111KB, RTF 65KB) are available.
Presentations from the 2009 NDS Workforce Conference are available.
This project involved pilots of recruitment and retention strategies in selected organisations across Australia. Outcomes include:
a Disability Workforce literature review (PDF 497KB) and
a Recruitment and Retention toolkit (PDF 2.55MB)
Please contact Sarah Fordyce if you are interested in obtaining write ups from pilots addressing:
- "Managers are the key to Retention", The Barkuma Management Learning Program
- "Attracting, Retaining and Developing Staff - Regional Workforce Issues", Bedford Industries
- "Increase our pool of part-time and casual staff from an older demographic" , Interaction Disability Services
- "Work conditions for Personal Support Workers", Karingal Inc
- "Job Redesign and Staff Retention", Keppel Community Care
- "Workforce issues re capacity, performance, engagement, upskilling and retention", Koomarri
- "Attraction, redesign of Coordinators Role, supervision" , Lower Great Southern Community Living Association Inc
- "Avoidance of panic hiring, current staff working extra shifts, team leader stress, clients missing out on programs and needing to change training or other plans", Oakdale Services
- "Support workers: recruitment; skill gaps; and low credibility of disability roles", Optia Inc.
- "Retention of staff and investment in effective retention strategies", Somerville Community Services
- "Workforce: attracting young people; male support workers", Valmar Support Services Ltd
- "The effects of systematic performance support and development on Team Leader and Direct Support Worker retention", Yooralla
In 2011 Skills for Care, UK, released a Workforce Development Strategy for people working, supporting and caring in adult social care, and a related Action Plan.
The DHS Barwon Region developed a Disability Workforce Action Plan (PDF 642KB) in 2010.
In 2008 DHS developed a Disability Workforce Strategy: Improving supports for people with a disability 2008 - 2013 with significant input from NDS, disability service providers and other stakeholders. It identified actions in four areas:
- strategic approach to workforce improvement
- attracting workforce
- enhancing job satisfaction
- learning, development and support.
A summary (Word 68KB) is available.
The Office of the Community Sector has developed several useful capability tools:
- Community Services Workforce Capability Framework (PDF 1.25MB). This tool assists not-for-profit organisations with the recruitment and retention of staff, performance management, and career planning by listing the skills, knowledge and attributes needed in a wide range of emerging and current jobs in the sector.
- The Workforce Capability Framework Toolkit (PDF 1.7MB, Word 750KB)
The toolkit describes many of the applications of the Workforce Capability Framework, and includes scenarios and examples.
- Workforce Capability Cards - individual layout (PDF 537KB), 4 per page (PDF 436KB) or (Word 1.54KB)
The Capability Cards describe the capabilities, and can be used for a range of human resource functions, including building a job description, providing guidance in performance appraisal and professional development. If you would like to print the cards, we recommend downloading the PDF rather than the Word file.
CareerOne Hunting the (Hidden) Hunters: Attracting and Retaining Talent in 2012 (PDF 3.45MB). Contains useful data about social media trends with recruitment, and a profile of the 'Social Work and Charity' sector in terms of employment attributes.
Best practice recruitment and selection - a tool kit for the community sector is availaible from the DHS website
Developed by the Office of the Community Sector, the Best Practice Recruitment and Selection Tool Kit describes the end-to-end recruitment and selection process, from planning the selection process to evaluating how successful it was. It includes information sheets describing each stage of the process.
Best practice recruitment and selection templates:Introduction, Planning, Assessment Plan, Position Description, Defining the attraction approach, Interview scoring Reference Checks, Individual applicant scoring, Induction checklist andGap analysis assessment tool are availiable on the DHS website.
The templates for recruitment and selection processes can be downloaded and adapted to suit an individual organisation's needs.
See also: Recruitment and Retention in the Community Sector: A snapshot of current concerns, future trends and workforce strategies (PDF 130KB) Victorian Council of Social Service 2008
VCOSS has developed a Guide on Skilled Volunteers for Community Organisations (PDF 2.60MB).
Investing in Leadership Development (PDF 353KB). Developed by the Office of the Community Sector, this identifies leadership skills and knowledge unique to the sector and assesses the adequacy of current resources and opportunities for leadership development.
The Victorian State Service Authority has a number of resources relating to Succession Planning.
Developing Organisational Support Services and Networks (PDF 2.20MB). Developed by the Office of the Community Sector, this considers options around expanding the range of information, resources and supports available to community organisations to help them meet their objectives.
Anti-bullying benchbook (PDF)
Anti-bullying guide (PDF)
Flexible Learning Advisory Group (FLAG), Workforce Research Centre, University of Sydney, 2011
Enabling workforce development: Insights from industries using e-learning
National VET E-learning Strategy Provides e-learning information and resources on e-learning, innovations and standards
Managing an Ageing Workforce
Ageing workforce: Prolonging Working Lives (PDF 791KB), presentation by Assoc. Professor E. Brooke at a VHIA Disability Forum, 2010
Shortage of Allied Health Staff in the Disability Sector (PDF 52KB), Lifestart Co-op Ltd, Sue Becker, 2011
- 2012, The influence of motivation in recruitment and retention of rural and remote allied health professionals: a literature review (PDF 389KB), Rural and Remote Health
- 2012, Analysis of Workforce Indicators Suitable for the Ageing, Disability and Home Care Sectors, Social Policy Research Centre
- NCVER 2012 Reskilling for encore careers for (what once were) retirement years (PDF 526KB). Encouraging older workers to stay in the workforce has become a policy priority. At the same time, the life expectancy of Australians has increased dramatically over the past several decades, effectively inserting a new stage in the life course, often called the 'third age'. This report explores the possibility of using that third age to embark on an encore career, and the role the VET sector might play in this in Australia.
- Workforce Gap Analysis Project (PDF 1.13MB, Word 1.95MB), Precision Consultancy for DHS, 2011
This Report identifies key elements of the current workforce, the desired future workforce and provides an analysis of the workforce gaps between the current workforce and the workforce that will be needed in the future. Key findings include:
The continued shift to individualised services, consistent with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will influence the workforce of the future.
Direct support workers will be expected to provide more tailored services, facilitate community participation, have a higher level of community engagement and advocacy skills and work more independently and collaboratively with people with a disability.
Over 15,000 workers are employed across Victoria to deliver supports and services for people with a disability. More than half of these workers are employed in the community sector. Women comprise 68% of the DHS managed workforce and 79% of the community sector workforce.
Over 50% of workers are over 45 years of age. Scenario planning indicates that if services continue in their present form, approximately 45-50% more workers will be required to replace retiring workers and to address Victoria's ageing and growing population.
People with a disability, their families and carers, will continue to have increased expectations of services in terms of quality, flexibility and diversity.
Victoria's continued population growth will influence workforce demands in the sector.
Please note this report was written prior to recent announcements about the NDIS. NDS comment (RTF 54KB) strongly cautions against basing workforce planning and development strategies on two elements of the Report: the findings from some of the scenario planning undertaken in the project and the remuneration data. Readers should consider more recent data in relation to these sections of the report.
- DHS Workforce and Demographic Data 2011 (PDF 1.48MB)
- Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council 2012 Environmental Scan (PDF 3.83MB)
The 2011 Scan notes demographic changes influencing new service approaches and the need for new roles and skills to meet demands.
The community services and health industries continue to grow with an annual surge in workforce numbers of 8.6% based on November 2010 figures.
- Skills for Care UK
The state of the adult social care workforce in England, 2010 executive summary see p9 re the future workforce, with various scenarios, which may have relevance to the Australian context
- National Institute Labour Studies, Flinders University 2010, Community and Disability Services Workforce Profile Project, the first nationally-representative survey of the community services workforce in Australia
- Centre for Work + Life, The Australian Work and Life Index 2009
Work, Life and Workplace Flexibility (PDF 703KB)
- Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council 2009
- Victorian Council of Social Service 2008
Recruitment and Retention in the Community Sector: A snapshot of current concerns, future trends and workforce strategies (PDF 130KB)
- Labour Market, Skills Demand and Skills Formation (PDF 1.03MB), Skills Australia and The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2008
- Workplace Research Centre 2008
Identifying paths to skill growth or skill recession: workforce development choices for community services and health (PDF 172KB), John Buchanan, University of Sydney
- Department of Health & Ageing 2007
National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey; Executive Summary (PDF 49KB)
- ACROD WA 2007
Human Impact Statement 'Putting a human face to WA's disability workforce planning problems' (PDF 358KB), Chris Kuca-Thompson
- ACROD WA 2006
Workforce Planning for Support Workers in the Disability Services Sector (PDF 425KB), WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- National Disability Administrators 2006
Investigation into disability workforce capacity issues (PDF 1.96MB), KPMG
- Victorian Department of Human Services 2005
Disability Services Workforce Study (PDF 1.07MB)
Carecareers Careers service for working in the disability and community care sector Australia wide. Information for job applicants, existing employees and hiring managers.
On-line career resource for the community services and health industries, the Community Active Careers website has input from the Australian Government, the CS&H Industry Skills Council and all CS&H state advisory bodies, and employing organisations within the community services and health industries. The Work that Matters e-newsletter provides regular updates on resources and initiatives related to careers in the community services and health sectors.
Department of Human Services: Workforce Design Strategy
The DHS Better Skills, Best Care strategy seeks to encourage health services to explore new and redesigned work roles and provide support to pilot and roll out initiatives. This website provides information on toolkits, links to further resources, and good practice project. Whilst designed for the health sector, elements of the website may be relevant to disability services.
Department of Human Services: CSO Information Portal - Workforce
The Funded Agency Channel CSO Information Portal compiles an extensive array of workforce resources and research around: workforce planning; recruitment and selection; education and training; and retention.
field promotes and models a culture of learning for people with disability, the disability services workforce and the community to create a more inclusive society. This is in the context of a broad social agenda driven by human rights.
The Office is undertaking a range of work relating to the community sector workforce.
South Australian Government: Building Business Capacity in Workforce Development: Employer Resource Toolkit
This toolkit contains lots of interesting and useful information to support employers with workforce development.
State Services Authority
The Victorian State Services Authority is responsible for public sector workforce planning and development. Its website contains useful information and tools some of which are highly relevant to the non government disability sector.
This website provides information, tools and notice of regular roundtables dealing with worklife balance issues.
For further information or suggestions for additional resources please contact Sarah Fordyce on 03 8341 4303 or email@example.com