Working Together To
Through A Sustainable
The world is facing a health workforce crisis, from which Queensland is not
immune. We have a 2% increase in population each year and a growing
chronic disease burden. The Queensland Health Skills Formation Strategy
has been established to identify barriers to industry development, to determine
workforce development needs and solutions and to explore the integration of
skills and work policy across the health industry. A comprehensive and multi-
sectoral representative Industry Leaders Group is in place to provide strategic
oversight and direction to the Strategy.
Following extensive consultations, the Industry Leaders Group, has endorsed
six Key Action Areas of Education and Training; Industry Wide Recruitment
and Retention, Job Design and Re-Design and Reliable and Realistic Funding
Structures, Rural and Remote and Indigenous Health. The Industry Leaders Group
will energetically seek innovative solutions to our health workforce crisis, looking
to global, national and local models to enable Queensland to create and support
a sustainable health workforce.
I am delighted to present the Health Skills Formation Strategy Workforce Action
Plan. This presents a unique opportunity for government and industry to work
together to solve a looming crisis for our health system. There are no quick fixes
and we see this as a start to a long term strategy to ensure we have a range of
workforce solutions to support our health system.
Dr Jane Thomason
Chair, Industry Leaders Group
HEALTH WORKFORCE STRATEGY
The Health and Community Services Workforce Council is working with Queensland’s
health industry on a three year Skills Formation Strategy beginning August 2007.
The Health Skills Formation Strategy (HSFS) is a major undertaking to facilitate an
industry led and industry wide approach to critical workforce issues. A primary
focus of the strategy is to provide opportunities for stakeholders to work together to
identify and implement workforce solutions designed to support sustainable health
Six Key Action Areas with specific activities are identified by the industry as the focus
of the project’s work (see over). Due to the size and complexity of the health industry
activities may be undertaken over a period longer than the strategy itself being
supported and led by the governance structures set into play by the HSFS.
The HSFS defines the health workforce as anyone working in the health system and
the health system or industry as inclusive of any organisation and/or agency from
across the government, non-government and private arenas, including:
• Health Service Providers (acute/hospital, community and public health,
retail health, scientific and technical health, complementary and alternative
• Registration Boards, Professional Bodies, Peak Associations and Unions
• Schools, Vocational Education Institutions/Providers and Higher Education
Multiple platforms are to be established throughout the life of the HSFS to enable
industry to lead work activities to ensure appropriate, relevant and viable workforce
outcomes are attained. These platforms and activities include:
• Industry Leaders Group
• Industry Forums, Workshops and Focus Sessions
• Industry Working Groups and Sub-Groups
• Industry Workforce Showcase Opportunities
• Link with existing initiative/programs to enhance capacity
Health Workforce Action Plan
The Health Workforce Action Plan developed via a consultative
approach with industry, seeks to collaboratively address critical
workforce issues confronting the health industry by developing
strategies and implementing initiatives and activities to build the
industry’s workforce capability.
Working Together To Improve Healthcare Through
A Sustainable And Innovative Workforce
• Investigate and trial remote supervision and support mechanism
A competent health workforce • Identify and implement primary health care worker pathways
Indigenous with relevant cultural, clinical and including education and training, promotion and succession
planning and service delivery.
community development skills;
Health enhanced by effective and • Advocate to influence funding structures and incentives to enable
outcomes based funding.
appropriate education, training
(Indigenous and support systems, addressing • Identify and trial relevant, effective, responsive and innovative
Health Principle) the needs of Aboriginal and Torres service models.
Strait Islander peoples. • Leverage technology to enable comprehensive health information
processes and systems including data and business systems
• Advocate for and participate in state and national progress for
Health Workforce legislative frameworks.
• Identify and enhance access and scope of health related
Education A whole of education sector •
Enhance access to high quality continuing professional education
approach that enables clear
Key Action Areas
programs with a capacity for recognition of prior learning.
and accessible pathways at the • Identify and respond to existing skill or qualification gaps relating
Pathways qualification and individual skill set
levels. Pathways that are flexible •
to new and emerging care models.
Facilitate the development of formal processes to enable
(Education and and innovative while giving both recognition from Vocational Education and Training (VET) level
Training Priority emphasis and qualifications to Higher Education.
Area) recognition to prior learning and • Raise the awareness and profile of the VET Sector to the health
lifelong learning. workforce.
• Raise the profile of and identify opportunities to create an inter-
professional education curriculum.
• Identify and enhance access and scope of health related
traineeships within a rural and remote context.
Rural and An accessible and innovative rural • Marketing and promotion of existing and emerging rural and remote
Remote and remote health service that is roles and careers.
supported by a viable workforce. • Identify and advocate for appropriate resources to support ‘in-place’
training and education.
(Embedded in all • Identify, scope , resource and trial emerging roles relevant to rural/
priority areas) remote contexts.
• Enhance relationships between industry and education and training
to enable a continuum of pathways.
Industry wide • Identify and document new and emerging care roles and service
models including naturally occurring innovations.
Job Design & Collaborative partnerships that
• Map tasks and functions of roles (existing and emerging) to identify
skills required and opportunities to implement.
Re-design facilitate innovative, flexible and
service driven models of care.
• Investigate and trial remote supervision and support mechanisms
(Labour and Skills • Identify and promote strategies and systems to support direct or
Utilisation Priority indirect care workers in relation to new or enhanced models.
Area, Models of • Raise the profile of the ‘health team’ approach and identify
Care Principle) opportunities to enhance implementation.
• Establish career pathways and generic competency frameworks to www.workforce.org.au/projects/sfs/health.html
Industry wide A whole of industry approach that •
allow mobility within the health workforce.
Investigate and implement ethical and viable immigration
Recruitment supports accessible
entry and re-entry to the •
frameworks and projects.
Trial innovative solutions such as school based traineeships and
& Retention industry and movement
between sectors and •
learning packages to support entry to the health workforce.
Develop targeted communication strategies which accurately depict
locations. the breadth and scope of the health sector.
• Identify and analyse workforce knowledge and data to advocate for
and inform further research based on gaps and drivers identified.
• Utilise existing knowledge and research to inform recruitment and
retention frameworks for industry implementation.
Reliable & Funding that supports ‘need’ driven
• Promote comprehensive, preventative and flexible approaches to
funding at the strategic level.
Realistic service models, • Identify and advocate the enhancement of current funding models
to ensure cultural appropriateness.
promotes a sustainable and
Funding preventative approach and • Advocate for capacity building and infrastructure needs within
current funding structures.
Structures considers the future burden of
• Identify education and training resourcing required within funding
(Funding Models • Advocate for funding structures that support preventative/primary
Priority Area) healthcare.
Health Skills Formation Strategy Workforce Action Plan 3
Health Skills Formation Strategy
The Health Skills Formation Strategy is a project of the Health & Community
Services Workforce Council.
Skills Formation Strategies are an initiative of the Queensland Government.
Time Line: It is anticipated that the activities identified within the Health
Workforce Action Plan will continue to be implemented beyond the life of
this project (mid 2010) to address the skills based needs of the industry
into the future. These activities will be steered by the networks and initatives
established throughout the project period.
303 Adelaide Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000
PH: (07) 3234 0190
Fax: (07) 3234 0474
For further information please contact the project team on (07) 3234 0191
or visit our website at