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Direct Client Care and Support

Overview

This page provides information and data on the Direct Client Care and Support sector, which is one component of the Community Services industry. 

This industry sector includes a variety of industry subsectors such as:

  • Aged and home care
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Leisure and health
  • Allied health assistance
  • Health services assistance.

Job roles in the industry include:

  • Support workers
  • Assistants in nursing
  • Allied health assistants
  • Diversional/recreational therapy assistants
  • Drug and alcohol workers
  • Mental health workers
  • Peer support workers.

Nationally recognised training for Direct Client Care and Support is delivered under the Community Services Training Package and Health Training Package

For more information on other community services related industries, please visit the pages for Community Sector and Development and Children’s Education and Care.

Information sourced from the Direct Client Care and Support IRC Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia. In 2017 approximately 1.6 million people were employed in this industry. By 2022 it is projected that about 1.8 million people will be employed in this industry. The Direct Client Care and Support IRC Skills Forecast notes that while it is difficult to quantify how many people work in Direct Client Care and Support, it forms a significant part of the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

Within this industry and relevant to Direct Client Care and Support is that the employment numbers for Aged and Disabled Carers are expected to grow from 170,000 in 2017 to 241,000 in 2022, an increase of over 40%.

A media release on the 2016 census indicates that in terms of absolute growth Aged and Disabled Carers was the third highest 'largest growth' occupation between 2011 and 2016.

Training trends

Training snapshot

There were over 137,000 course enrolments in Direct Client Care qualifications in 2016 and 52,000 course completions.  About two thirds of the enrolments were at certificate III level.

The largest numbers of enrolments in terms of qualification clusters were in aged care (37,000 enrolments) and individual support (35,000 enrolments).  The large numbers of enrolments in aged care in particular is reflective of demand for employment in this area. 

Over a half of the course enrolments were for private training providers with over a quarter by TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes.  However, about two-thirds of the funding for the course subjects came from government with the majority of the remainder being domestic fee for service.  The training was concentrated in the eastern states.

Apprentice and trainee commencements have dropped dramatically from 2012, in line with withdrawal of incentives at that time for occupations not on the National Skills Needs List. Most of the apprenticeships and traineeships were aimed at the occupations of Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers, and Welfare Support Workers.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region please visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Infographic title: Priority skills: 2017 skills forecast,, Infographic data:,, Title: Top priority skills,, customer service, communication, technology, leadership, flexibility,, Title: Top generic skills,, communication / virtual collaboration / social intelligence, learning agility / information literacy / intellectual autonomy and self-management, customer service / marketing, language, literacy and numeracy, design mindset / thinking critically / systems thinking / solving problems,, Infographic title: Skills and occupations in demand: job vacancies,, Title: Top generic skills in demand,, communication skills, organisational skills, writing, computer skills, planning,, Title: Top 5 occupations in demand,, child carers, welfare support workers, nursing support and personal care workers, health and welfare services managers,, welfare, recreation and community arts workers,, Title: Top 5 locations,, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia,, Title: Top employers,, New South Wales Ministry of Health, Victorian Department of Health, Uniting Care Australia, Anglicare, The Salvation Army,, Infographic source, Priority skills source: Direct Client Care IRC Skills Forecast and Schedule of Work 2016-17,, Job vacancy occupations in demand source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight Real Time Labor Market Information tool

Industry insights on skills needs

The Direct Client Care IRC Skills Forecast indicates that the top two priority skills in demand are customer service and communication.  In addition, the Skills Forecast ranks the top generic skill for this sector as communication, virtual collaboration and social intelligence.  The job vacancy data indicates that communication skills are the top soft skill in demand by employers in the broader Health Care and Social Assistance industry.

A research study authored by ACER (the Australian Council for Educational Research) on behalf of the South Australian Department of State Development, that looks at what employers really want in the early childhood and aged care sectors found that in both sectors they were looking for people that can connect and work with others.  The authors of the report pointed out that the current qualifications did not specifically incorporate these skills but some learners need strategies to help them develop these skills.

In addition, in the aged care sector employers recruiting entry level personal care workers needed people with high level interpersonal skills and also empathy.  The report found that the qualifications did not have this level of requirement and that the training did not directly cover issues personal care workers may encounter when interacting with others in the work environment (co-workers, and client’s families).

A census and survey of the National Aged Care Workforce was undertaken in 2016 by the National Institute of Labour Studies on behalf of the Australian Department of Health. It found that in 2016 there were approximately 240,000 aged care workers in direct care roles -154,000 in residential care facilities and 86,000 in home care and home support outlets.

In terms of VET qualifications, most Personal Care Attendants and Community Care Workers that were surveyed found their training (at certificate III) had equipped them well for their work.  However, some concerns were raised by a minority about course length, placements, online training methods and gaps in the content of the course such as in communication skills, behaviour management and dementia care.  It was noted on the Community Services cluster page that there were many subject only enrolments in the dementia care unit of competency pointing to the increasing importance of this skill.

The Australian Disability Workforce Report by National Disability Services found that a common recruitment difficulty for disability support positions was the increasingly specific requirements for the jobs.  This is due to the tailoring of jobs around clients under the NDIS.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 1 digit industry, Division Q Health Care and Social Assistance, employment projections to May 2022
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations , employment projections to May 2022
    • 4231 Aged and Disabled Carers
    • 2721 Counsellors
    • 1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers
    • 4233 Nursing Support and Personal Care Workers
    • 4117 Welfare Support Workers.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 September 2017 < http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 1 digit industry, Division Q Health Care and Social Assistance, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 1 digit industry, Division Q Health Care and Social Assistance, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Student and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • CHC Community Services Training Package
  • CHC20199 - Certificate II in Community Services (Aged Care Work)
  • CHC30102 - Certificate III in Aged Care Work
  • CHC30199 - Certificate III in Community Services (Aged Care Work)
  • CHC30208 - Certificate III in Aged Care
  • CHC30212 - Certificate III in Aged Care
  • CHC40102 - Certificate IV in Aged Care Work
  • CHC40108 - Certificate IV in Aged Care
  • CHC40199 - Certificate IV in Community Services (Aged Care Work)
  • CHC50199 - Diploma of Community Services (Aged Care Work)
  • CHC20599 - Certificate II in Community Services (Disability Work)
  • CHC30302 - Certificate III in Disability Work
  • CHC30408 - Certificate III in Disability
  • CHC30799 - Certificate III in Community Services (Disability Work)
  • CHC40202 - Certificate IV in Service Co-ordination (Ageing and Disability)
  • CHC40302 - Certificate IV in Disability Work
  • CHC40308 - Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC40312 - Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC40799 - Certificate IV in Community Services (Disability Work)
  • CHC43115 - Certificate IV in Disability
  • CHC50102 - Diploma of Disability Work
  • CHC50108 - Diploma of Disability
  • CHC50799 - Diploma of Community Services (Disability Work)
  • CHC60102 - Advanced Diploma of Disability Work
  • CHC60108 - Advanced Diploma of Disability Work
  • CHC60112 - Advanced Diploma of Disability
  • CHC60799 - Advanced Diploma of Community Services (Disability Work)
  • CHC20299 - Certificate II in Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs Work)
  • CHC30299 - Certificate III in Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs Work)
  • CHC40299 - Certificate IV in Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs Work)
  • CHC40408 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work
  • CHC40412 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • CHC41702 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs Work
  • CHC43215 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • CHC50208 - Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol and other drugs)
  • CHC50299 - Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol and Other Drugs Work)
  • CHC50408 - Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, other drugs and mental health)
  • CHC50412 - Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, other drugs and mental health)
  • CHC51102 - Diploma of Alcohol and other Drugs Work
  • CHC53215 - Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • CHC50212 - Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol and other drugs)
  • CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support
  • CHC30202 - Certificate III in Home and Community Care
  • CHC30308 - Certificate III in Home and Community Care
  • CHC30312 - Certificate III in Home and Community Care
  • CHC40208 - Certificate IV in Home and Community Care
  • CHC40212 - Certificate IV in Home and Community Care
  • CHC30899 - Certificate III in Community Services (Mental Health Work - non clinical)
  • CHC40508 - Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • CHC40512 - Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • CHC40899 - Certificate IV in Community Services (Mental Health Work - non clinical)
  • CHC41102 - Certificate IV in Mental Health Work (Non-clinical)
  • CHC42912 - Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
  • CHC43315 - Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • CHC43515 - Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
  • CHC50308 - Diploma of Community Services (Mental health)
  • CHC50312 - Diploma of Community Services (Mental health)
  • CHC50899 - Diploma of Community Services (Mental Health Work - non clinical)
  • CHC53315 - Diploma of Mental Health
  • CHC40608 - Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
  • CHC41602 - Certificate IV in Community Services (Lifestyle and Leisure)
  • CHC43415 - Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
  • CHC50508 - Diploma of Leisure and Health
  • CHC50512 - Diploma of Leisure and Health
  • CHC50802 - Diploma of Community Services (Lifestyle and Leisure)
  • CHC53415 - Diploma of Leisure and Health
  • CHC43015 - Certificate IV in Ageing Support
  • HLT Health Training Package Qualifications
    • HLT20702 - Certificate II in Health Support Services (Client/Patient Support Services)
    • HLT20802 - Certificate II in Health Support Services (Cleaning Support Services)
    • HLT21207 - Certificate II in Health Support Services
    • HLT21212 - Certificate II in Health Support Services
    • HLT23215 - Certificate II in Health Support Services
    • HLT30802 - Certificate III in Health Support Services (Client/Patient Support Services)
    • HLT30902 - Certificate III in Health Support Services (Cleaning Support Services)
    • HLT31002 - Certificate III in Health Support Services
    • HLT32807 - Certificate III in Health Support Services
    • HLT32812 - Certificate III in Health Support Services
    • HLT33215 - Certificate III in Health Support Services
    • HLT40402 - Certificate IV in Health Support Services (Supervision)
    • HLT31702 - Certificate III in Health Service Assistance (Allied Health Assistance)
    • HLT32407 - Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT32412 - Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT33015 - Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT42507 - Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT42512 - Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT43015 - Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance
    • HLT32507 - Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
    • HLT32512 - Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
    • HLT33115 - Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 subject enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document. 

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.  This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Community Services training package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2016 commencements
  • 2010 to 2016 completions 
  • 2016 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2016 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Direct Client Care and Support IRC Skills Forecast

Burning Glass Technologies. Labour Insight – real-time labour market information tool. <http://www.burning-glass.com> 2017.

  • Job advertisements from all of Australia from January 2014 to August 2017 are included in the analysis.  Data shown is the top five advertised VET-related in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry and the top five locations and employers according to job advertisements
  • Skills data has also been extracted from the Burning Glass Labour Insights job vacancy data tool.  Data shown is the proportion of job advertisements which request generic skills for VET-related occupations in the industry and occupations listed above.

 

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