The value of care – why the care sector is a pathway to a better future for all Australians

  • The value of care  – why the care sector is a pathway to a better future for all Australians image

Millions of Australians depend on the care sector every day. It employs two million people and is the nation’s largest employer.

Employment in the care sector is forecast to grow by 15% over the next five years, creating 301,000 new jobs.

And women make up 76% of the workforce.

In our recent submission to the Government’s Employment White Paper consultation, we put forward the case for why we think the care sector is the pathway for a better future for all Australians, and a key part of addressing women’s economic security.

We argue that gender equality is everyone’s business, and we must all embrace the new norm that both paid and unpaid care is the responsibility of a family and community – not women alone.

The UnitingCare network is one of Australia’s largest employers and we have considerable knowledge and experience of the care sector. We are also one of the largest recruiters in the country with almost 10,000 job vacancies advertised across the country throughout 2022.

As a network we are committed to ensuring equal opportunities and equal pay for women as they comprise the majority of our 50,000 strong workforce and 30,000 volunteers – 82%. We are a values driven network with a vision that all people should have the opportunity to thrive and live to their full potential.

The UnitingCare network has a track record of delivering life-changing programs in partnership with Government, especially for those most in need.

The opportunity for the care economy to be transformational for Australia’s future is boldly evident, as is the opportunity for the care sector to lead gender de-segregation and advance gender equality. The care sector can be the centre of a focussed and coordinated strategy to support gender pay equity in a measured time frame.

So we welcome the Government’s attention and investment in the care sector. We share the view that the opportunity of the care sector is significant. And we are optimistic about what we can achieve together to advance equality and create a better future for all Australians.