10th March 2023

Recruiting overseas workers for Australia’s health and aged-care sector


The challenge of closing the health and care sector talent gap 

Australia’s health services are experiencing staffing problems at scale. If we consider nursing, there are nearly 460,000 nurses and midwives in Australia. It is Australia’s largest healthcare profession, however, anecdotal evidence suggests 75% of nurses in hospital wards are considering leaving the profession, with some hospitals reporting a 30% turnover of nurses each year. 

When we look at social care, Australia is facing a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged-care workers within the next decade unless urgent action is taken to boost the workforce, a report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) found.

Such shortfalls create the impetus to use temporary workers and are in part due to the failure of the health and aged-care sector to hire and retain staff in sufficient numbers.

A significant opportunity

‘The Great Resignation’ is widely blamed for the talent gap that has developed in many developed economies. Shortfalls in the numbers of health and aged-care workers had been trending and this was only exacerbated by the pressures put on the health, elderly and community care systems by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For established recruitment businesses that may be looking for opportunities to diversify the sectors in which they operate, or entrepreneurs and startups, the health and social care sector is an opportunity that is certainly worth considering. However… As you can guess there is a road to be trodden and there are obstacles to be navigated.
The rules governing recruitment of migrant health workers to Australia

Illegal migration is a threat that many nations are struggling to deal with. There are as many as 100 million people globally currently estimated to be migrants; public opinion is politically sensitive and policy is robust.

As a result, the process for a recruitment agency in Australia recruiting health workers from overseas involves navigating a complex set of regulations and requirements to ensure compliance with Australian immigration laws. Here is an outline of some of the key steps a recruitment agency would need to take:

These are some of the key steps that an Australian recruitment agency would need to take to comply with the rules governing migrant workers when recruiting health workers from overseas. 

As with any new business venture or entry into a market, it is important to seek professional advice. It is imperative to ensure that all legal requirements are met, as the process can be complex and subject to change.

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