Bolton Clarke welcomes Fijian workers

A group of aged care workers from Fiji have joined the Bolton Clarke team at its Rowes Bay and Glendale homes in Townsville, Queensland.

One of the largest mobilisation’s yet under the Australian Government’s Aged Care Expansion Program, the Townsville group will be employed across 17 of the national aged care and retirement living provider’s sites in regional Queensland and New South Wales.

Part of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme, the ACE program was established to help aged care providers plug the sector’s staffing shortage by recruiting long-term staff from the Pacific and Timor-Leste and allowing them to complete Australian standard qualifications.

“Finding long-term employees is one of the greatest challenges we face in our regional homes,” said Bolton Clarke Group international sourcing manager Sara Allotta. “Welcoming these new team members is a win-win, supporting continuity of care for residents, and offering training and employment opportunities that can be life-changing for PALM workers.”

Before heading to Townsville, the Fijian workers undertook 16 weeks of training at the Brisbane campus of Alphacrucis University College. While at Rowes Bay and Glendale, the workers will complete six weeks of the practical component of their training to obtain a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), which will enable them to work at Bolton Clarke homes for the next four years.

Bolton Clarke employee Sainaz Bano (front) with her ticket ready to fly to Townsville for hands-on training

Sainaz Bano worked in aged care in Fiji for about a year before being picked to take the four-month Alphacrucis course, which she began last September. “After arriving, we did a lot of orientation in Brisbane,” said Ms Bano. “It’s been a bit challenging in a totally new environment, but it has been really great to recap on all the knowledge we have learnt so far.”

Ms Bano has always enjoyed working with older people. “I’m so excited to meet new people with different background and cultures,” she said. “I’m very happy to have been given this opportunity.”

Upon arrival in Townsville, the workers were welcomed at a celebration event at Bolton Clarke’s Rowes Bay site, which included traditional Fijian singing. Watch below:

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