Aged Care Sponsored Story

Millennials/Gen Z Aussies or Immigrants? Who Will Save Aged Care?


As Australia’s population continues to age, the demand for quality aged care services is growing exponentially. However, this sector faces a significant challenge: a shortage of skilled and dedicated workers, increasing costs of employees, and a declining interest among Australians in pursuing careers in aged care.

Young Australians are increasingly turning towards entrepreneurship and online ventures, leaving the aged care sector with a dwindling domestic workforce. This makes it imperative for aged care providers to consider overseas workers as a viable solution. Recent changes in immigration policy present a promising opportunity. These policies, particularly the Aged Care Labour Agreement, company-specific labour agreements, and Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs), offer a streamlined pathway for bringing and retaining overseas workers, ensuring that the aged care sector remains robust and capable of providing high-quality care to our elderly population. 

Addressing the Workforce Shortage 

The aged care sector is currently experiencing a workforce crisis. According to recent reports, there is a significant shortfall in the number of qualified aged care workers needed to meet the increasing demands. This shortage not only affects the quality of care but also places immense pressure on existing staff, leading to burnout and high turnover rates. The financial burden on providers is also increasing, with rising employee costs making it challenging to maintain sustainable operations. 

The reluctance of many Australians to enter the aged care workforce exacerbates the problem. Factors such as the physically demanding nature of the work, relatively low pay, and limited career advancement opportunities contribute to the declining interest. The introduction of targeted immigration policies can play a pivotal role in mitigating these issues by providing a reliable source of skilled workers from overseas. 

The Aged Care Labour Agreement 

The Aged Care Labour Agreement is a tailored migration pathway designed to help aged care providers sponsor overseas workers for critical roles. This agreement recognises the unique challenges faced by the aged care sector and provides a streamlined process for employers to access skilled overseas workers. Key benefits include: 

  • Simplified Sponsorship Process: Reduces administrative burdens and expedites hiring.
  • Priority Processing: Ensures vacancies are filled swiftly.
  • Tailored Occupation List: Sponsors workers with the exact skills needed.
  • Pathway to Permanent Residency: Enhances job security and retention. 

Key roles that can be sponsored under this agreement include: 

  • Nursing Support Worker (ANZSCO 423312)
  • Personal Care Assistant (ANZSCO 423313)
  • Aged or Disabled Carer (ANZSCO 423111) 

Financial Viability and Sustainability 

One significant advantage of these immigration policies is their potential to alleviate financial pressures on aged care providers. By providing a steady supply of skilled workers, providers can reduce reliance on costly temporary staff and minimise disruptions caused by high turnover rates. The streamlined processes and priority processing mean vacancies can be filled more quickly, ensuring continuity of care and reducing financial impacts of prolonged staffing shortages. 

Aged care providers can also benefit from lower salary requirements for overseas workers. Under the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement, the annual salary for overseas workers must be at least $51,222 AUD or the Australian Market Salary Rate, whichever is higher. This can result in significant cost savings for providers. 

Applying for the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement 

Aged care providers that enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the relevant industry unions will receive streamlined access to the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement. The unions to contact include: 

  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF):
  • Health Services Union (HSU):
  • United Workers Union (UWU): 

Once the MoU is established, aged care providers can submit the labour agreement request to the Department of Home Affairs. Online labour agreement request forms are available in ImmiAccount. 

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) 

Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs) are another flexible option for aged care providers. These agreements allow individual regions to address their specific labour market needs by negotiating terms directly with the Department of Home Affairs. Benefits include: 

  • Customised Terms and Conditions: Tailored to the needs of specific regions.
  • Addressing Regional Workforce Needs: Covers unique workforce needs in regional areas.
  • Enhanced Retention Strategies: Offers a customised pathway to employment and residency. 

Ensuring Quality and Compliance 

While these immigration policies provide much-needed support, it is crucial for aged care providers to ensure that the quality of care is maintained and compliance with regulations is strictly adhered to. This includes providing adequate training and support for overseas workers, ensuring they meet Australian standards, and fostering a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. 

To maintain high standards of care, providers should invest in comprehensive onboarding programs for overseas workers. These programs should include training on Australian aged care practices, cultural sensitivity, and effective communication with residents and their families. Ongoing professional development opportunities can also help overseas workers stay updated with best practices and advancements in the field. 


The future of the aged care workforce in Australia hinges on innovative solutions to address the current labour shortage. The Aged Care Labour Agreement, company-specific labour agreements, and Designated Area Migration Agreements present significant opportunities for aged care providers to bring in and retain skilled overseas workers. By leveraging these immigration pathways, the aged care sector can ensure it remains capable of delivering high-quality care to our growing elderly population, ultimately securing a brighter future for all Australians. 

As we prepare for the Aged Care Week Summit, it is an opportune moment for CEOs and decision-makers to explore these immigration policies and consider how they can be integrated into their workforce planning strategies. By embracing these changes, we can collectively transform the aged care landscape, ensuring that every elderly Australian receives the care and dignity they deserve. 

For further details on how The Jobs N Visa can assist your organisation with the Aged Care Labour Agreement, company-specific labour agreements, or a Designated Area Migration Agreement, please visit our booth or contact us directly. Our specialised migration agents are ready to help you secure the workforce your organisation needs to thrive. 

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