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From our most recent employer survey, we know that lack of time is the number one most common barrier that affect the success of industry trainees in achieving their qualification. With personal and professional responsibilities, it can indeed be challenging and at times overwhelming.

We asked Presbyterian Support Central (PSC), one of our employers with a track record for successful trainee completions what they’re doing to support their staff.

Joy Tlapi, Clinical Director at Presbyterian Support Central shared that the organisation offer staff paid study time. They gather a group of staff doing the same Careerforce qualification and organise facilitated study days for them.

“Every month they have a two to three-hour session where they go through two unit standards or modules together. The group has some discussion, share some examples from everyday practice, and then after that training session with the Enliven trainer they go out and do their assessment and get verified by the observers.”

The organisation also ensures that the assessments are done during work time, usually working around schedules so trainees can be observed or assessed as part of their day to day tasks.

“With all our busy lives, once you get out of work, you go home, you’ve got a life, you have kids, there are other activities you’re getting into. As an organisation, we recognise that this is a challenge.”

“So we want to support them as much as possible to do [training] within the work environment. We know that at the end of the day that we are investing in our staff and more so, we are investing in our residents by having well-trained care staff.”

She added, “when we incorporated paid study time, staff felt valued and they knew whatever they were doing was contributing to the bigger picture for the organisation.”

Joy can also attest to staff in training being more motivated. She is also seeing them increase their confidence because they know they have knowledge and are able to apply best practice.

The recognition that the aged care sector is changing drives PSC’s commitment to continuously upskilling staff.

“For us to be able to move with these changes, we need to make sure that our staff are up to date. Training is key for them.”

“We believe that when somebody comes to work for us, you are not just coming to a job. You are coming to a career pathway. We want you to make something out of your life or out of your career.”

Again, she brings these investments back to having their residents at the centre of everything they do.

“For the residents to be happy, we need to have competent, well-trained staff to deliver the right care at the right time consistently. We feel that once we train them and invest in them, these carers will be able to deliver the required level of care to the residents entrusted in our care.”

“I would really encourage [employers] to consider paid study time, because I can see the benefit of the investment. Much more than a few dollars…just putting that investment will go a long way in keeping your staff happy and your residents well looked after.”