ACDC Project



The purpose of this project was to deliver employer-led strategies to minimise skill shortages (quantity and quality) within the Aged Care, Disability, and Community Services sectors.


Significant growth is expected in the ACDC sectors over the next 3-5 years. The Aged Care, Disability, and Community Service sectors are undergoing significant regulatory reforms, including consumer choice driven models such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and My Aged Care. Coupled with factors such as an ageing population, the ACDC sectors are experiencing increased demand and face substantial opportunities for growth, which places pressure on recruitment and maintaining appropriate workforce numbers.


An electronic survey was sent to all local employers within the ACDC sectors, with the goal of quantifying the size of the local workforce and identifying any specific sectors or sectoral roles that are experiencing particular workforce shortages.

In addition, face-to-face meetings with representatives of organisations within these sectors were undertaken. The purpose of these meetings was to explore in greater depth issues experienced with recruitment and retention of staff, and to discuss activities that have been undertaken previously to address workforce shortages.

Analysis of the survey responses and discussions with organisational representatives highlighted a number of common workforce needs:

  • There is a chronic shortage of registered nurses (RNs) within the aged care and to a lesser extent disability sectors. Factors influencing this issue include a substantially lower pay rate for RNs within the aged care sector compared with the NSW Health sector, as well as the aged care role generally not being regarded (arguably incorrectly) as being as challenging or exciting as those within the state health care sector.
  • There is a shortage of care workers within the aged care, disability, and community service sectors. Factors influencing this issue are the low pay rates and hours on offer, and to some extent the requirement from some organisations for fully qualified and experienced applicants.

 This project assists the ACDC sectors by providing:

  • Employer Toolkit to assist with recruitment. Includes career pathway maps and behavioural characteristics for roles with shortages, showcase of local best practices undertaken to address recruitment or retention issues.
  • Improve means of connecting university students/graduates with ACDC employers. 
  • Improve means of connecting TAFE/RTO students with ACDC employers.
  • Conduct focus groups of young people to understand their perceptions of the industry.
  • Conduct a social media campaign targeting young people to address negative perceptions of the ACDC sectors, and promote consideration of working within this sector.
  • Improve the experience of structured work placement programs.

Final Report

A copy of the Final Report for the ACDC Workforce Development Project can be downloaded here.


Aged Care & Disability Employer Toolkit

We are pleased to present this Employer Toolkit as a resource for the Aged Care, Disability and Community Services sectors.  The toolkit will assist employers to adopt innovative strategies to address their growing workforce needs.  It provides best practice case studies as exemplars and a source of inspiration.  The toolkit also provides resources for use with potential employees.

 A copy of the Employer Toolkit can be downloaded here. 

Copies of individual pages are also available for download: