A new online learning platform has been launched to convince school leavers and young Australians to consider Human Services jobs as part of a strategy to address the looming workforce shortfall across the nation.

More than 250,000 workers will need to be found and trained in the next five years to meet the needs of Australia’s burgeoning Human Services sector. Triple that number will be needed by 2050.

The Positive Humanity campaign, launched by the Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) in partnership with school leaver service Year13, examines the different career paths available and what is needed to work in the roles.

However, a recent survey by Year13 found the sector would need to fight perceptions of ‘hard work’ to attract school leavers into caring people-centered careers. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said they were unlikely or wouldn’t consider a job in Human Services.

HSSO CEO Jodi Schmidt said too many young people assumed they won’t like the job.

“They often don’t understand the diversity of roles and type of work available and, that for individuals who enjoy working with people and having variety, it is very rewarding,” she said.

“The negative connotations associated with ‘care & support’ work often discourage young people from careers that would suit their work preference and offer great value including flexible arrangements, a variety of work, extensive career pathways and opportunities. It also offers the security of an ever-growing sector that young people tell us is critical for the future of work post pandemic.”

Ms Schmidt said the Positive Humanity campaign also educated young people about the skills and attributes needed to be successful in Human Services jobs.

“People need to reflect on the personal traits required for the roles in addition to training and qualifications.,” she said.

“Skilled, confident, empathic and patient staff are seen as critical to how human services providers can successfully deliver services to improve the lives of people in our communities.”

Human Services is a rapidly growing group of industries whereby humans are needed to provide care for other humans. The sector has nearly double the projected growth rate of any other industry in the Australian economy and includes areas such as aged care, disability services, early childhood education and care, and veterans’ care.

The Positive Humanity campaign delivers free online learning courses through Year13’s “The Academy” which sits on its website. Year13 currently has partnerships with hundreds of schools and an audience of more than 1.6 million young Australians visiting their site each year.

Year13 CEO Will Stubley said the partnership was designed to empower young people to make the decision on whether pursuing a career pathway in the industry was right for them.

“It’s in real demand at the moment so we really look forward to helping young people with a passion for healthcare and social assistance to find a successful and happy future,” he said.

“Positive Humanity participants will learn about different career paths in the sector, get a deeper understanding of what it is like to work in various jobs, hear from other young people currently working in the sectors, and given direction on training, qualifications and next steps.”

View the Academy