Funding boost for new support care staff

Recipients at the Intermediate and Long-Term Care Manpower Development Awards event included (from left) Mr Ganesan Chupar Maniam, Ms Noor Kesuma Manap, Ms Chan Mei Fei and Ms Jocelyn Ng.
Recipients at the Intermediate and Long-Term Care Manpower Development Awards event included (from left) Mr Ganesan Chupar Maniam, Ms Noor Kesuma Manap, Ms Chan Mei Fei and Ms Jocelyn Ng.PHOTO: AGENCY FOR INTEGRATED CARE

A programme to help new support care staff pick up skills to provide long-term care services to patients like the elderly has been boosted.

From this month, workers on the Community Care Traineeship Programme (CCTP) will have their training courses fully paid for by the Government.

At the Intermediate and Long- Term Care (ILTC) Manpower Development Awards Ceremony yesterday, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced that employers will also get additional funding support of $1,000 a month for each newly recruited local support care employee during their training.

Previously, employers such as nursing homes had to pay 10 per cent of the programme fee to train their support care staff.

Under the CCTP, employers can send staff for courses relevant to their job scope. These workers switch from sectors like schools and retail to join the community care sector in roles like therapy aides and healthcare attendants.

Courses vary in price and duration. For example the Workforce Skills Qualification course in healthcare support for nursing care lasts two months and costs $5,500 before GST.

The training programme was launched by the Health Ministry and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) last year to help new support care staff pick up required core skills.

Since last year, the AIC has embarked on initiatives to encourage more residents to join the field. On top of the training programme, these include a branding campaign to increase awareness of the sector, regional job fairs and an open house for jobseekers to meet employers in the sector.

Mr Ganesan Chupar Maniam joined the community care sector following a career switch. The 34-year-old, who used to work at a bank, switched careers after undergoing heart surgery

"It was the turning point in my life," said Mr Ganesan, who yesterday received the Balaji Sadasivan Study Award, which he will use to pursue a Diploma in Nursing at Nanyang Polytechnic.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Funding boost for new support care staff'. Print Edition | Subscribe