“The Hidden Workforce”
The collaborating parties were, the lead organisation, Carers NT, which is a Peak body for carers across the Northern Territory; Crest NT, the organisation that project managed the program, who are an industry leader in the areas of workforce planning and organisational development; and Response Employment and Training the Registered Training Organisation (RTO), which specialises in workforce recognition in the Community Services Sector.
The purpose of the project was to deliver an innovative training/employment solution with a foundation that lies in recognising the unique knowledge, skills, life experience and values base of the Carers. They are an untapped and hidden workforce which can provide a solution to the sector’s workforce shortage concerns. The project provided the carers with a contextualised Certificate III Individual Support qualification and subsequent employment that was mutually beneficial for the Sector and the Carers.
The parties came together through the roll out of the National Disability Services (NDS) workforce planning project in which RET and Crest NT provided training to disability service providers to develop a workforce plan for their organisation through the Workforce Planning Skill Set. Through this process, Carers NT identified the need to provide formal recognition for the skills and knowledge carers acquire in their roles as unpaid carers; the Hidden Workforce. The Hidden Workforce program was very successful seeing 17 Carers complete and gain a qualification in a Certificate III Individual Support, with many of them now having entered the workforce.
The “Hidden Workforce” project has been nominated and shortlisted a NT training awards finalist 2017 under the Industry Collaboration section, which recognises an exemplary skills development collaboration between at least one employer / industry body and at least, one organisation delivering nationally recognised training.
Judging will take place on 27 June followed by an awards night to be held in Darwin on Saturday 23 September.