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Social service jobs to “dodge the automation bullet”, fuelling jobs boom

VCOSS & FSSI MEDIA RELEASE

Victoria has a window of opportunity to put itself ahead of the game in building a world-class social service sector and meet rapidly growing workforce demand for decades to come, two reports released today reveal.

Part of the state’s fastest growing jobs sector, social services hold the key to our social economy and future jobs.

The landmark report Victoria’s social economy: Social opportunity, economic growth, released today, projects massive growth in disability and aged care work, and contains a stark warning about the need to manage the expected jobs boom.

“With 250,000 new jobs projected by 2022, we need to act fast,” Future Social Service Institute Director Professor David Hayward said.

“If we don’t attract, train, accredit and responsibly oversee enough people to work in key fields of disability and aged care, there’s no telling the human cost.”

The report describes how while artificial intelligence and automation will redefine jobs in other sectors, social services will continue to need ‘real people’.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, Australia’s ageing population and long-overdue spending increases to combat family violence are also identified as key drivers of the industry’s strong growth.

“Social services are a key industry of huge social opportunity and economic growth,” Professor Hayward said.

“Victoria can put itself ahead of the game and create a world-class industry that boosts the economy, provides high-quality, secure jobs and delivers exceptional services.”

“We need to up our game and provide the training, recognition, respect and reward this important workforce needs and deserves.

Specifically, Victoria’s social economy: Social opportunity, economic growth, recommends:

  • A campaign to change outdated perceptions of social services.
  • A statewide education and training model with a new suite of tertiary programs and micro credentials.
  • A social economy careers program to support workers through multi-faceted career pathways.
  • A worker registration and accreditation scheme.

“Without this leadership, we will hit a crisis in the provision of care and support,” Professor Hayward warned.

The report is being released in tandem with a new Victorian Council of Social Service analysis of the existing size and characteristics of the state’s community service sector.

Jobs of the future: Victoria’s vibrant community services industry reveals there are roughly 4,700 community service organisations in Victoria, making up a $15 billion industry.

The combined sector employs more than 160,000 people, or about five per cent of Victoria’s entire workforce.

“This report paints a picture of a big and booming sector,” according to VCOSS CEO Emma King

“Social care is asserting itself as the real engine room of the Victorian economy.”

“With that size and maturity comes inevitable growing pains, but overwhelmingly the future is bright.”

  • For more information or to arrange an interview contact Ryan Sheales on 0418 127 153 or via email.
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