In a series of events around the country, young professionals working in aged care will have the opportunity to network and learn from other industry leaders and carers nationally.
Young professional Samantha Bowen established the Acorn Network as a small LinkedIn group in 2012, in order to connect carers of different generations.
When the group exploded in popularity, Ms Bowen noticed a trend of under-representation of young people in the sector and a lack of support for their professional growth.
“Our aged care industry lacks young adults in senior roles,” she says.
While 58 percent of aged care workers have been in the industry for more than a decade, with a median age of 48, workers aged 34 years or younger made up 46 percent of all recent hires in 2016
Bowen believes improved age diversity is vital for the industry going forward, as diversity is “known to be key to overall business growth” and more effective team performance.
“We know that the number of young workers is still significantly lower in aged care than the national average,” she says, “so we must ensure we engage and retain our young talent.”
More than half of aged care workers are expected to retire in the next 10 years, and engaging young carers is becoming increasingly important.
The Acorn Network aims to provide opportunities for young leaders to connect with mentors who can assist in strengthening relationships essential to progressing through the senior ranks in aged care.
“Young people are looking for mentors, and many are finding it difficult to find the right one,” says Ms Bowen. “Often, the leaders that count seem out of reach for younger employees.”
Ms Bowen stresses that mentoring is “proven to enhance staff engagement,” and the events are also ideal for organisations who want to expose staff to vital business skills.
Talking Aged Care readers interested in attending the Better Mentors Relationships Event can use the code ‘DPS23’ for 15 percent discount on tickets at the Acorn Network website.