The Bolton Clarke organisation joined the Pacific Labour Scheme in 2017 and now employs 12 workers from Kiribati. Like many aged-care providers in regional Australia, Bolton Clarke struggled to fill personal carer and support roles with local labour. Bolton Clarke has employed 12 workers from Kiribati to work as personal carers and support staff in Longreach and Bowen in Queensland.
Aged care is an example of an industry in Australia where employers are finding it difficult to meet the growing need for labour, especially in rural and remote areas.
Bolton Clarke, one of Australia’s leading not-for-profit providers of independent living services, is meeting this challenge through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS).
Bolton Clarke joined the PLS in 2017, when Alison Boundy, Bolton Clarke’s then Workforce Resourcing Manager, travelled to Kiribati to recruit 5 personal care workers and 2 hotel services workers.
“One of the challenges we face in aged care is finding workers who have the right skills but who also genuinely care for older people,” Alison said.
“The PLS workers who came to Longreach have such beautiful natures. They’re caring and genuine, they always smile and love to have a laugh. You see a resident when the new staff member comes up to them and they just light up.”
Based on the success of these workers, Bolton Clarke recruited another 3 i-Kiribati workers for their assisted-living community in Bowen, and plan to recruit more workers in the future.